Gin is often a misunderstood spirit. Most people grow up and cannot recall a fond memory of gin—it conjures stigmas of pine needles and Christmas trees. What they have yet to discover is how many unique properties gin can help accentuate in one’s palate when paired with food. Instead of associating the flavor of juniper berry with Aunt Pearl’s stash of extra dry gin in a plastic handled bottle we can now sip smoothly the botanical forward and complex flavor profiles of the new and old style gins alike.
Mark Tafoya, co-founder of The Winslow, recalls when he and his brother would go to the local Safeway and buy the cheapest bottles of Safeway’s own branded gin. Yes, prior to honing his craft as a bartender, this fine gentleman in his youth would drink that horrid product on the rocks in a Styrofoam coffee cup. Admittedly his own experiences left a nasty residue on his taste buds, and it wasn’t until years later when he tried Hendricks that he started realizing gin itself wasn’t just limited to the big players who owned the gin segment for so many years. Most notably: Gordon’s, Bombay, Tanqueray and Beefeater.
Today’s gin revival is in large part due to the process of making gin, and no, we don’t mean in a bathtub. Take whiskey for example, it has always been popular and the distilleries that were making whiskey would have to wait five years until their product could be ready. That’s a long time to wait for any kind of profit. Gin became a moneymaking machine for those distilleries because you don’t have to age it. Beautiful small batch and craft gins started popping up changing many a mind as to what this whole gin game was about. This brings us to Hendricks’s ten-year revival. Hendricks long ago broke that Juniper Forward London style dry gin and instead began adding botanicals such as cucumber and rosebud to its gin. When people started drinking that style of gin and asking for it in the bars it opened up the doors for many more craft gins ranging from something as simple as distilling it with raw honey as you find in Barr Hill or all the way to Monkey 47, which, you guessed it, is made with 47 botanicals.
The Winslow’s owners wanted to create a true British inspired gastropub. Because gin has had such a big influence, as well as its history in London, they realized Manhattan needed a proper gin bar. Largely influenced by the Spanish presentation of gin and tonics with botanical pairings, The Winslow wasn’t just going to have gin on the menu– it was going to serve it properly. Often you will notice the spices, dried fruit and botanicals lining our bar. We add varying combinations to our gin and tonics and gin specialty cocktails. Gin has evolved, and alcohol purists as well as people within the bar industry have joined the evolution.
The Winslow boasts over 40 different styles and brands of gin. Each is hand selected and available with a specialty tonic, specialty pairing or even many of our specialty cocktails. We think gin is special, and want each customer leaving here feeling the same way. If you are at all still on the fence as to whether or not gin is for you, stop in and be convinced.