Gin Club At The Winslow NYC
Imagine yourself sitting on a patio drinking martinis with Winston Churchill and arguing over the amount of vermouth to add, or having Ernest Hemingway break down the beautiful Spanish style in which to present a gin and tonic. You could give Bond, James Bond, a hard time for ordering his vespers shaken, not stirred. Sorry James, you have a lot of skills but drink preparation isn’t one of them. You are ordering a watered down version of something that could be delicious. Phyllis Diller would even mock him endlessly for ruining what she considered her only true religion—straight gin.
Now imagine, if there was a place where you could go to celebrate such an infamous and delicious spirit. The Winslow, nestled right on the borderline between the East Village and Gramercy neighborhoods, hosts a gin club three Tuesdays of every month, just so people can do so. In one month for example, we will host gin distilleries such as Gin Lane London Dry Gin, Mexigin, Brooklyn Gin, and Botanist Islay Dry Gin. The Winslow has hosted hundreds of Gin Clubs each featuring different gins and spirits.
With purchase of a Gin Club ticket, each guest receives: a welcome cocktail, introduction to the featured distillery, two more cocktails (that the representative from the distillery chooses and walks you through so you can make it at your station), passing hors d’oeuvres, lively conversation with other guests and the distillers, and so much more. There are raffle prizes and botanical tastings. You come in hungry and thirsty, you leave a sated expert on all things gin. Every Gin Club varies, but each is a unique glimpse behind the curtain as to how the gin is made, why the creators chose those flavor profiles, and what separates their gin from the rest of the pack. Essentially, it’s an amazing deal and amazingly fun way to nerd out about gin.
Much of the education in gin club comes straight from the expert’s mouths. 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 botanicals used for gin and tonic pairings at The Winslow include, but are not limited to: juniper berry, coriander, rosemary, sage, dried lemon, lemon peel, dried orange, orange peel, dried grapefruit, grapefruit peel, hibiscus, rosebud, mint, bog myrtle, chamomile tea, green tea, heather flowers, fennel, ginger, cucumber, black pepper, clove, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, angelica root, coconut, almond, pistachio, star anise, dried apple, lavender, and more—just to name a few.) Each botanical pairing changes from drink to drink, and season to season.
Gin, has been in the hand of many a hero, real or fictional alike. It’s run the gamut of popularity, to poison, to stigmatize, to illegal to trendy again as if everyone is discovering it for the first time. Classic cocktails are all a buzz again, and I wonder if William Hogarth who created the famous engraving “Gin Lane” would be entertained to watch all of his local bartenders reinvent the Bees Knees.
The Winslow team wanted to create a true British inspired gastro pub. 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. Gin has evolved, and alcohol purists as well as people within the bar industry have joined the evolution. The Gin Club at The Winslow harkens back to a time of speakeasies.
Gin has so saturated our culture that we cannot even disassociate bathtubs from it. Luckily, thanks to several varying health code requirements this isn’t the go to method for distilling anymore, but it’s good to know how in a pinch. Gin so embodies where it comes from given it’s botanical make up, that it can be as English as the Queen, as American as apple pie or Scottish as the hills. Gin always has a story. Maybe that’s why so many writers enjoy it so thoroughly, and why clubs celebrating tend to be such a good night.
The Winslow is an American bar fashioned after a traditional British public house. They do botanical pairings with all of their gins of which they boast over forty different brands and styles, so it was natural to follow they would start a club of like minded folks to get together to drink, as well as talk about gin. The cocktails during Gin Club are plentiful. You’ll make martinis (stirred, James, for the last time) and feel as if you are sitting between Dorothy Parker and William Faulkner while they argue over who could out drink whom—good money is on Dorothy. They all would have joined the Gin Club.
Gin Club Starts at 7pm on select Tuesdays
Gin dates back to the 17th century, and after a bit of a dip, its appreciation has revived. Here at The Winslow, our goal is to bring the spirit of the past to New York City by inviting distilleries to teach us about their gin, what pairs best with them as well as the varying varieties to serve them with. We invite you to discover these new gins here, but of course, it can’t hurt to meet all of the new people who will be there to learn as well as drinking and tasting the varying gins.
Once you walk in you will receive a welcome cocktail and then you will be introduced to the select gin of the evening. Afterwards you will be taught how to make two separate drinks, of which you’ll drink all the while sampling some of our hors d’oeuvres.
What you’ll get
- Welcome cocktail
- Introduction to the specialty gin of that week
- Two more cocktails (that you’ll learn how to make)
- Passing hors d’oeuvres
- Lively conversation with other guests and the distillers–BOOM!
See you soon!