Sunday, March 25, 2012

Leopold's Navy Strength Gin

Ever since having Leopold's Navy Strength Gin, I've got the unshakable feeling that all other gin (which I love, don't get me wrong) is somehow imperfect, somehow flawed in a crucial way. It's bold, juniper forward, and rich.

Heavens Dog

Trevor Easter, over at Heaven's Dog, introduced me to Leopold's. He explained the totally bad ass origins of the "Navy Strength" category. In a nutshell, one deck of Navy ships was set aside for gunpowder–unless a liquid was over a certain proof, it was not allowed on this deck at all, since if it leaked, it would ruin the gunpowder. A liquor of high enough proof, however, would still ignite. Thus, Navy Strength, which weighs in at a whopping 57% ABV, or 114 proof.

You may think that Navy Strength gin would be unwieldy, but Trevor (the viking in the picture below) made me the best gin-forward drink I've ever had. Ever. Essentially, it's a gin old fashioned using gum syrup (not simple) and a tiny splash of angostura.

Heavens Dog

I know I could not replicate this drink at home. Crafting such a simple drink requires technical mastery. This is one of the reasons Trevor is one of my top three favorite bartenders in the city–he's a big geek. In a good way. I mean, the guy has an infrared thermometer behind his bar with which he checks a drink's temperature. Every tool he uses is chilled. Each piece of ice is selected and modified to fit the drink.

In other words, this is much more than a simple gin old fashioned. I'd put this on my list of cocktails I could drink forever.

I should also warn you, reader, that this drink, and this gin, isn't for people who like gin. It's for people who love gin.

Heaven’s Dog

1148 Mission St.

San Francisco, CA 94103



death by pop rocks said...

Sailors! I knew it was for sailors!

Anonymous said...

Stop spreading that idiocy about "watering down the gunpowder." The TRUE reason for 114 proof was to prove that the "contractors" supplying the British naval officers' gin ration weren't watering it down and trying to screw Her Majesty's government. If you could pour some on a little gunpowder and light it off, the ethanol was definitely in there, baby!

Josh said...

If there's one thing I refuse to do, sir or madam, it's to cease spreading idiocy. I like your explanation a lot, it's quite clever, but until I see some proof (get it?) I'll stick to my own story.

Matty G said...

Right-oh. Rumor or not, the bottle itself offers this as the reason, and who are we to question such gentlemen as the brothers Leopold?

Donut Accessories said...

Very creaative post