header home Backbar Bar Station Recipe Database Month's Feature "Drink-o-pedia" Mixology Contact

Zephyr Black Premium Reserve Gin

Zephyr Black Premium
Reserve Gin


By Robert Plotkin

So how can you tell if you're holding a glass of top-notch gin? There are several significant attributes to look for including an enticing bouquet, pristine clarity, a satiny texture and a long satisfying finish. Yet as important as these characteristics are nothing overshadows a captivating, well-balanced palate of flavors. Being able to discern the various layers of botanical flavors is part of the allure of gin and the mark of a high quality spirit. When you find a gin with all of these attributes, buy it.

English import Zephyr Black Premium Reserve Gin is such a product. It is a traditional small batch London dry gin. That said it is anything but staid and conventional. Made with a base of neutral grain spirits, the gin is redistilled with a mix that includes 5 traditional botanicals plus elderflowers and elderberries. These ingredients give the spirit a distinctive flavor on the finish. Prior to bottling the gin is rendered to 44% alcohol by volume (88 proof).

Zephyr Black has all of the hallmarks of greatness. It is crystal clear with a lightweight, silky textured body and a bouquet comprised of savory juniper, citrus zest, and floral and herbal notes. Its aromatic signature makes an elegant first impression. The gin fills the mouth with a dry assortment of flavors dominated by lively citrus, star anise, semisweet floral and dry juniper. The finish is moderate in length and quite smooth.

Mixologists will greatly appreciate Zephyr Black's wide and diverse palate. As important, the gin is equally at home presented in a Martini—or any gin-based cocktail—as it is mixed with a quality tonic. Frequently premium gins are better served in one fashion than another.

Sibling Zephyr Blu Elderberry Flavored Gin is crafted in the same manner as Zephyr Black with one notable exception. After the neutral spirits are redistilled with the traditional mix of botanicals, an infusion of gardenias and sweet elderberries is added. The additional two botanicals impart a delightfully semisweet floral quality to the gin and give the spirit a faint, naturally induced blue color. Zephyr Blu is bottled at 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof). The lower alcohol content allows the spirit to luxuriate on the palate longer.

Its light blue hue is only part of its charm. Zephyr Blu has a velvety textured body and a decidedly floral and spice bouquet. Perhaps its most singular attribute is its palate, which is a blend of luscious semisweet fruit and savory spice. The finish is long and slightly spicy.

Zephyr Blu is certainly an accessible spirit, a perfect entree to the category. The added floral infusion gives the gin remarkable versatility behind the bar. It is marvelous served neat, over ice, or featured in a flavored Martini.

Zephyr Black, Zephyr Blu—they're an impressive duo. Cheers!