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Boodles British Gin

Boodles British Gin


By Robert Plotkin

A bottle of Boodles British Gin on the back bar is the unmistakable sign you're frequenting an establishment that takes their gin-based cocktails and mixed drinks seriously. Created in 1847, the brand is named after London's most famous men's club, the Boodles Club. Founded by Edward Boodle, the aristocratic club call as it own such esteemed members as Sir Winston Churchill, Ian Fleming and David Niven. Although presently better known abroad than in the United States, Boodles is increasingly becoming a fixture behind bars of distinction. If you haven't sampled the brand, drop what you're doing and correct the situation.

The famed London dry gin is made by Chivas Brothers at the renowned Strathisla Distillery, Scotland's oldest continuously operating distillery. One explanation for Boodles' abundance of character and fresh crisp flavor lies in how it's made. The brand is the only London dry gin made in a vacuum still, which functions under extreme pressure allowing the alcohol to evaporate at a lower temperature. As a result, the gin retains more of its botanicals' crisp flavors. The recipe of aromatics and botanicals includes coriander, sage, cassia bark, nutmeg, rosemary, caraway, angelica root and juniper berries. Boodles is bottled at the traditional 90.4 proof.

Few of the planet's major brands of gin can compare with the brand's dry palate and delicate features. The pleasantries begin immediately. Boodles is brilliantly clear and sports an oily textured, medium-weight body and an engaging bouquet comprised of juniper, nutmeg, citrus and floral aromas. Despite its elevated alcohol content, the gin's initial entry is soft and restrained, building in intensity but never past the point of warming.

Few London dry gins can compare to Boodles broad, surgically balanced palate. Initially there are the enticing flavors of rosemary, coriander, spearmint and lemon and orange zest. At the midpoint the gin issues forth the flavors of juniper, citrus and sweet spices. The finish is clean, crisp and elegantly dry.

Boodles is a stellar performer behind the bar and a boon to any beverage program. The gin can do it all. It's marvelous when paired with dry vermouth and served in a classically structured Martini. Its ensemble of botanicals is tailor-made for accommodating the fortified wine. On the flip side, the brand is perfectly suited for a few splashes of crisp tonic water. It's not every gin that can pull off both roles with such finesse.

Boodles is worth its weight in British Sterling, a classic London dry gin with a well-earned cachet for quality, vibrant personality and a flair for drink-making. Who knows, if the brand had existed in Colonial America, perhaps we might not have been in such a rush to revolt against the mother country.