Every now and then, a PR company will send me free samples of something or other to review, and by God, who am I to refuse? A few days ago, a little box arrived bearing little bottles of Martin Miller’s Gin, a spirit distilled in England and mixed with water in Iceland. A little Iceland sounded pretty darn great in this heat, so I invited over a gin swilling — I mean, gin loving — friend, and got to work.
Along with the samples, I received all sorts of information about the inspiration and creation of Martin Miller’s Gin. In 1999, Mr. Miller, a “bon viveur and conoisseur of the finer things in life,” was “[l]eft unsatisfied by all other gin on the market,” and he decided to create his own, crafted to his exacting standards. After all, “Gin is the most seductive of drinks… It’s not just history in a glass, it’s romance and adventure too.”
Although I would save the “Most Seductive” award for Cognac, Mr. Miller is on to something. Gin has a whiff of exotic nostalgia to it. In British colonies, it was mixed with quinine to make the malaria prophylactic more palatable, giving rise to today’s gin and tonic. If one can put aside the problematic politics of empire for a moment, a fine gin can evoke the terrace of a glamorous club in Rangoon or Bombay, where gentlemen in white suits relax to the sounds of a phonograph and the occasional distant trumpet of an elephant.