New name, new… uh, year

Huh, I can’t believe it’s been more than a year since I last posted to this blog. I remember a day, oh, it’s been ages, when I wouldn’t let a day go by without publishing here. Instead, now, I publish all over the place. Retronauts, Greenlit Content, various and sundry freelance outlets… I dust the world with words like trees drop pollen. Just not here, apparently.

But I do miss blogging on my lonesome, and now that no one’s paying attention, I can surreptitiously tweak this blog to be something else. No more; now it’s:

(And also And And Why let go of good URLs, I figure?) will serve two purposes, I hopes. One, it will be a home to my Gintendo stream archives, which all the kids love. Seriously, it’s weird to me that thousands of people will watch me playing a video game. But OK! I’m hoping that giving that venture a home will nudge me toward adopting a more regular and consistent streaming schedule… once I’m done with Midwest Gaming Classic this weekend, that is.

Two, will allow me to serve the small but definitely real audience of people who are interested in hearing my opinions about booze. I am not a booze expert, mind you. I am a novice drinker, but because I didn’t begin to drink until I was well into adulthood, I skipped the peer pressure/idiot drunkenness of college and went straight to drinking because I enjoy the taste and experience of the drink rather than getting blasted. I’m extremely opinionated, even snobbish, about what I drink. But why shouldn’t I be? I’m old now, and every day—and every calorie—counts. There’s no sense in eating or drinking things that I don’t enjoy if I know I’m gonna have to get out on the elliptical and pump those pedals to keep it from settling around my waistline, you know? If I’m going to negate my exercise efforts, I want to make it count.

So I have, I think, very justifiable opinions about alcohol. And I will be writing about them here, because this stuff ain’t cheap and now I can expense it you demanded it.

Also, some video game stuff will show up here, I dunno.

Gin review: Fid Street Hawaiian Gin

I have this thing I do now whenever I travel and time allows: I always try to snag a bottle of locally distilled gin. This is not because I am a disreputable lush—I have been acquiring bottles far more quickly than I can actually consume them, much to Cat’s dismay about our cluttered pantry—but because more than any other type of liquor, gin demonstrates the unique character of a place in liquid form. Yes, there’s always going to be a juniper flavor element to gin, because that’s the definition of gin, but the craft gin movement of the past decade has been all about expressing the native flavors of a place by playing regional botanicals against that canvas of juniper. There’s even a word for it, because of course there is: Terroir. (It’s French. The double-Rs are supposed to kinda catch in your throat, apparently.)

Sometimes I will cheat and purchase a gin from a place I’ve been online, as is the case with Fid Street gin. It is distilled in Hawaii. Gin and Hawaii aren’t really my go-to mental pairing, to be honest. Rum and Hawaii? Yeah. Cava and Hawaii? For sure. But gin? Hm.

And on its surface, Fid Street seems like a boringly standard gin recipe. The botanicals listed on its label consist of exotic things like coriander, angelica, and oranges. Standard fare! The one unconventional ingredient here is cedar leaf, which is intriguing: The sharp, aromatic woodiness of cedar seems like a pretty natural complement to gin, honestly, and cedar casking is the secret behind my favorite sake in the world (Kiku Masamune Taru). So that’s promising.

What really sets Fid Street apart, I think, is its base spirit. Gin is basically vodka with personality, and it can be created by macerating/distilling any neutral spirit with juniper and whatever you want to throw in. But that base spirit doesn’t have to be standard wheat—there are rye-based gins that take on a malty flavor, or G’Vine, which uses grapes. Fid Street goes all-in on its Hawaiian origins by including a pineapple-based spirit in its base, and you can really taste it. There’s a sweetness to Fid Street that comes as a surprise on a first tasting—not like, Old Tom sweetness, but definitely noticeable. I’m pretty sure that’s not the cedar leaves at work, so I’m going with the pineapple spirits.

While Fid Street has most of the expected flavors of an American gin, the slightly syrupy undertone takes some getting used to and means this is a gin that needs some care when being used for traditional concoctions. I don’t recommend it for a dirty martini, for example, although it’s not bad in a dry martini with a twist. It’s fantastic for flavorful cocktails, though; I recently aged a Negroni that used Fid Street as its dominant gin. The original Negroni mix was excellent to begin with, but I’ve sampled the aged version that picked up some of the wood/smoke flavor of the barrel and it’s incredible.

I don’t know that I’d hunt down Fid Street again, but I’m happy to have sampled it. Now I know what a pineapple gin tastes like: A marvelous cocktail, if a disappointing G&T.

2 thoughts on “New name, new… uh, year

  1. Ha, shows what you know! I still have Gamespite bookmarked and follow it on Tumblr! Let’s not explore what that says about my digital clutter habits.

    This gin sounds like it would make an interesting gimlet too.

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