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The Modern Bar Cart Podcast

Feb 23, 2023

In this lively chat with David T. Smith, spirits judge, consultant, and author of Gin Tonica, some of the topics we discuss include:

  • A history of the Gin & Tonic cocktail, which turns out to be a bit more punk and DIY than it’s often played up to be, as well as a bit more recent than we like to romanticize.

  • The ways in which cultural differences in the US and the UK, like the widespread adoption of ice and the proximity to fresh citrus, worked to generate strikingly different conceptions of what we imagine as a “classic” gin & tonic.

  • Then, of course, we explore how a few chefs in the Basque region of Spain took this drink into the kitchen in the last 20 years and completely transformed the way the cocktail can look, feel, and taste.

  • We also take a moment to zoom out - as we gin nerds like to do - and examine some of the current trends in the gin world, both here in the US, and elsewhere in the world, such as the strategic deployment of local botanicals and the targeted deployment of distillate base AS a botanical.

  • Along the way, we answer pressing questions like: why does David know what blood plasma tastes like?, is that a lego piece in your mixing glass?, did you just let Chat GPT write your tasting notes for you?, and much, much more.

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