Let me kick this blog off by stating for the record I am WELL over 21 and a wine and (mostly) vodka drinker. Greg, however, prefers gin in his cocktails with an occasional Scotch or whisky if the evening calls for it. With that in mind, when Total Wine and More sent out an email inviting me to a virtual gin tasting of Aviation American Gin with owner Ryan Reynolds, I thought it would be right up Greg’s alley. Besides, with so many travel restrictions in place, an online tasting seemed like a safe “trip” for an afternoon.
We headed off to the store with the ingredient list in hand and even dutifully purchased Aviation Gin. Greg’s go-to is typically Bombay or Tanqueray. We got everything set up in our aviation-themed bar and signed in at the appointed hour.
Ryan popped in and out of the event with his fabulously snarky, sarcastic wit (Hey … turns out we are both VERY fluent in sarcasm!) while bartender/mixologist Travis Tober of Aviation Gin taught us how to create three cocktails. I was leery, but promised to try the drinks, even sipping it neat side-by-side with Bombay for a comparison.
WOW! As we learned in the YouTube Live event and with our own taste buds, American gin is not the juniper-forward gin you’re used to! It’s slightly citrusy, sneaks in a little lavender and cardamom then finishes with just a hint of that bitter, piney juniper flavor. I LIKE IT!
We tried an Aviation Negroni, an aperol-splashed G&T (that’s bar code for gin and tonic) and a refreshing gin and soda with a twist of orange.
It was a quick 30 minutes, but we even managed to sneak in a quick selfie with Ryan on the laptop screen!
What are the lessons here?
There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored. First, sometimes you can explore new things without ever leaving your home. Second, don’t say no just because you THINK you might not like it, you never know when you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
(Ryan, if you’re reading this, you have an open invitation. PM me, K?)
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