Realizing I hadn’t yet tried any gin for this blog, I took a look at the gin my local grocery store had to offer. I stood for a moment trying to decide which of several well know brands to taste, when something new caught my eye. A light green label with the words “certified organic” jumped out at me, introducing me for the first time to Prairie Gin.
Prairie Gin comes in a simple bottle. Its tall slender design with a flower filigreed label looks like an elegant lady. Opening the bottle, its scent is that familiar crushed pine needle odor that gin has, though it’s gentler than others. The aroma also has what I’d call a clean quality to it that makes it a bit more enticing than others.
I’d call its flavor bombastic, except that it isn’t very strong. Its piney taste is gentle, just like its odor. It has a rich taste, and powerful pepper note. It’s not the smoothest liquor, it burns wherever it touches, but it’s not uncomfortable to drink. It leaves very subtle, pleasant bitter taste on the back of the tongue, and a hint of ethanol in the throat. This is an interesting drink indeed.
When iced, the pepper comes forward and the pine recedes. The bitterness that was an aftertaste before now has some presence while drinking, but is not intrusive. It still tastes good, but I liked it better neat.
Finding myself without any tonic on hand, I decided to mix some Prairie Gin with orange juice. The two mostly seem to neutralize each other; the gin takes sweetness away from the orange juice, the juice covers up the flavor of the gin. The bitter finish is still present, but in this combination it just makes it seem like I’m drinking cheap orange juice.
Having been underwhelmed by Prairie Gin and orange juice, I decided to see what else I had on hand that I could put it in to. I found a bottle of Vanilla Coke in my refrigerator, and decided to take a gamble. I’m a little surprised to say that these two taste good together.
I found that tasting this combination has something of a cycle. The first sip will taste like Vanilla Coke, the second mostly like gin. The third sip with taste like a combination of the two, and this is the best one. The vanilla and the gin combine together and taste great, while the Coca-Cola flavor sits underneath them. If I wait a long enough for my palate to clear, the cycle starts again. Or, taking a larger sip skips right to the end, where the flavors are combined.
As to intoxication, I found Prairie Gin going to my head after some minutes of delay, but it seemed to skip getting me buzzed and take me straight to tipsy. So, if you’re like me and enjoy the first stages of intoxication the most, you may want to drink Prairie Gin more slowly than other spirits.