18 June 2018

From the bartender’s corner: Gin #39 – Tinkerman’s Gin

I went deep inside my liquor cabinet and fished this bottle out. For the life of me, I cannot remember where I got this bottle from. I had not heard about it before and kept reading the label on the bottle to figure out what might have piqued my interest. Nothing stood out. Perhaps, I was given this as a gift.

In any case, tried researching on this gin. There is not much material on this gin. Part of the reason is that it is a very new gin. In fact, it started making enough to ship to the south only a few months back. The distillery is based out of Fredericksburg, VA.

The distillery makes three gins – curiously named Recipe #4.2, 6.3 and 7.4

This is the 7.4 version. Made from base alcohol of corn extract (they proudly call it American Corn), this gin has Jasmine Green Tea, Ginger, Lemongrass, Italian Juniper, Coriander and others as its botanicals. The herbs are vapor infused in a standard copper still.

With Green Tea, Ginger and Lemongrass, I was expecting a very different gin. I cannot say it met those expectations. Perhaps, they need a few more years to tinker around the right amounts. They call it “Curiously Bright and Complex”. I am still curious. Did not see the bright or complex part.

On the nose, it was more citrusy. The palette was pretty flat juniper. I was hoping to get some tea, ginger and the bite of lemongrass in the nose and palette. Did not get that. The length was reasonable.

Probably good to use this in cocktails.

I will give it a second try to make sure I am not selling this gin short. But as of now, I will wait for a few more years till they have figured out a better way to get the botanicals to have a stronger say on the nose and palette.

10 June 2018

Puzzle: Learning about new countries

When I visited Mongolia this time, Roger introduced me to a book “Tuva or Bust”. If you have not read that book, chances are you would not know that there used to be a country called Tannu Tuva (kind of northwest of Mongolia). Or that the Noble prize winning physicist Richard Feynman never fulfilled his wish to visit that country in spite of years and years of efforts.

That got me thinking about how little I knew about countries. Actually, my knowledge of countries is pretty much stuck with what I had learnt (and how the world looked) during my school days – so let’s say mid 80s. Even then, I was terrible with countries from Africa.

After coming back from Mongolia though, I did make some effort to learn about the new countries that have formed in the last two decades or so. Previously, I could not even place them in the world map. Now I can. I am still struggling with the names of their capitals though.

I cannot give you this puzzle without ruling Sharmistha Kolay out of this game. She is a whiz kid when comes to geography. Not only can she name each and every country by continent and place them in a world map, she can name their capitals and …. get this… tell you what their flag looks like. I have never met anybody like her.

So here is the puzzle… I will name some newly formed countries… and you will have to name their capital. Try it by yourself. And then Google them up. How many did you get?

A. Countries that formed when USSR broke up:

-> “The Stans” in Asia
1. Tajikistan
2. Turkmenistan
3. Kyrgyzstan
4. Uzbekistan
5. Kazakhstan

-> Between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea
6. Azerbaijan
7. Armenia
8. Georgia

-> In Europe
9. Ukraine
10. Moldova
11. Belarus
12. Latvia
13. Lithuania
14. Estonia

B. Countries that formed when Yugoslavia broke up:

15. Serbia
16. Bosnia Hercegovina
17. Montenegro
18. Macedonia
19. Kosovo
20. Slovenia
21. Croatia

C. Other new countries

-> Africa
22. South Sudan
23. Eritrea
24. Namibia

-> Asia
25. East Timor (Timor-Leste)
26. Palau

-> Europe
26. Slovenia
27. Slovakia
28. Czech Republic

BTW, I could not even reach the one-third mark!!! How many did you get?

Finally for the bonus question… and maybe we will open this up to Sharmistha even… Have you heard of a country called the Republic of Artsakh? Look it up!!

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