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Spotlight on: Aged Gin


Finding the idea of aged gin a little strange? You’re not alone. That familiar three-letter word tells you that you should be adding tonic, some garnish and an impressively large glass to raise in a ‘cheers’ with friends and family. But the rich notes of wood and vanilla from the barrel-ageing suggest taking a more measured approach: a simple cut glass, one ice cube and a leather chair in front of a roaring fire where you can sip it neat and contemplate the ways of the world

You can, of course, do either - but there are even more interesting ways to drink aged gin. Let’s take one of our personal favourite aged gin brands Firkin as an example - the trick is to use this delightfully complex gin in cocktails not typically associated with gin.

Using gins like Firkin in place of whisky or bourbon opens up a whole new range of flavours in some classic drinks. Alex Smith, managing partner at San Francisco’s ‘temple of gin’, Whitechapel, agrees. “A great way to go is to sub an aged gin in a classic whiskey cocktail such as the Old Fashioned or Manhattan,” he says in his interview with Vine Pair. “Barrel-ageing a gin gives it many of the classic aged spirit flavors that gin is not usually associated with, such as vanilla, caramel, oak, and smoke. Sometimes, if the barrels have been used to age another spirit or wine beforehand, the gin takes on some of these wonderful flavours.”

So go on, grab yourself a bottle of Firkin and pour yourself an aged gin Manhattan, method below.

Firkin Aged Gin Manhattan

Stir together 2 measures of Firkin Aged gin, one measure of Italian vermouth, and a dash of your favourite bitters in a tall mixing glass with ice.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with a twist and/or a cocktail cherry.