If you've walked down the alcohol aisle in the past few years — and let's face it, you have — you've surely been witness to the flavorific bubble mentality of today's liquor brands.
Particularly when it comes to vodka, where you can purchase Three Olives' Triple Shot Espresso, Tartz, and whatever flavor "Dude" is.
But I don't care for vodka, so the fact that the area between Smirnoff and Popov looks increasingly like a bag of Skittles hasn't bothered me.
I am a gin drinker. In case you haven't noticed, we're in a gin renaissance, and the subsequent flavor explosion is here.
At best, Fruit Loop-flavored vodka is the bastardization of a liquor that's supposed to taste like nothing. There's a more sinister explanation, as it's no secret Fruit Loop vodka is more flavor-accessible for young (dare I say underage) drinkers.
A similar thing seems to be happening in order to make gin — which to some tastes like a Christmas tree and to others like a delicious Christmas tree — more accessible.
The gin and tonic, once thought of as a more refined and grandfatherly kind of drink, is now de rigueur among what we might derisively call "millennials." As people want more gin, we're seeing more gin flavors.
Take Hoxton, one of the biggest gin success stories of the past few years. They pump their liquid with grapefruit, juniper, iris, tarragon and ginger. A Hoxton gin and tonic will taste very different than your more classic Beefeater or Bombay Sapphire. There's also coconut gin, saffron gin, and pretty much any other flavor once relegated to vodka.
Some gin purists aren't happy, but then again purists never are.
As someone who drinks and occasionally writes about alcohol, here's my message: Stop being a gin snob. Stop being an alcohol snob altogether. If you are one, consider not being one.
When done correctly, drinking is supposed to be, you know, fun. Don't be annoying about it. Live and let live, different strokes, and other clichés, just stop.
If you don't, you risk making gin the next scotch, long considered a more pretentious beverage choice (a title it shouldn't have, since there are perfectly tasty cheap options).
Here's the Free Beacon's Sonny Bunch responding to an article I wrote interviewing a local barkeep who had the audacity to say that people should just drink their scotch however they like — ice, soda, water, coke, it's all good.
However, for the love of god, if you’re going to pay for that slight upgrade in taste enjoy it and do not drown it in sugary sweet soda. If that’s how you’re drinking your Johnnie Walker Blue, you are doing it wrong. I can ASSURE you of this. ALL CAPS ASSURE.
I can ALL CAPS ASSURE YOU that Sonny drinks alone.
Don't let this happen to gin, the summertime beverage. Gin and tonic! Martinis! Be happy.
It's fine if people want to drink flavored gin. It's fine if people want to drink anything, so long as it's not in a harmful way. This is a silly thing to get mad about.
And, for what it's worth, Business Insider had the chance to taste a fantastic "classic" gin called Martin Miller's. We drank it straight, something you usually don't do with gin. It was truly smooth, like a higher-end Beefeater. No coconut, no saffron, only a slight hint of cucumber on the finish.
So if that's your thing, try drinking Martin Miller's instead of Hoxton, but don't shame the Hoxton-drinkers in the process.
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