Feb 082009
 



Dirty Martini with this?

Dirty Martini with this?

The nation’s top drink, the gin martini, is perhaps the most expensive drink we can least afford not to buy. In tough times like these, the last thing we want to do is give up our favorite brand of liquor. Yet, according to the latest government research, millions of consumer household liquor cabinets are running dangerously low on alcohol. The sad truth is, many of us simply don’t want to degrade ourselves and downgrade to discount brands of booze. We may think the fallout of the mortgage and loan crisis has reached rock-bottom, but what happens when Americans can no longer afford to buy their favorite brand of gin, vodka, scotch, tequila or bourbon? We could be facing a crisis that makes the Great Depression look like a Chucky Cheese birthday party. While the one trillion dollar stimulus package proposed by our current president has several millions allocated towards a lavish golf course, apparently there is not enough money leftover to provide a good bottle of gin. If you’ve been waiting for the government to supplement your latest stimulus check with a case of 1.75 liter bottles of Bombay Sapphire, I have a sneaking suspicion that’s not what this young, new president meant when he talked about, “Hope.” In this case, hope comes in the form of a drinkable, cheaper substitute brand of liquor. Once again, it is Taaka to the rescue.

As my recent review on Taaka Vodka proved,  premium brands of liquor may not be worth the extra cost. Do you like a dirty martini? Then this article is really for you. How does Taaka Gin stack up against your favorite brands like Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, Quintessential?

I won’t lie to you.  Taaka is not quite as smooth and clean tasting as these other three brands, but it is still a very drinkable gin with a very nice, juniper-flavor and it won’t leave you having to ask for a federal bailout to continue your martini habit. Recently, when I did a side-by-side comparison I noticed that while Taaka did not quite taste as clean, it did have more of a distinguished juniper flavor than the Quintessential. A clean taste may be good, but what if you like a dirty martini (with olive juice)? If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering why someone would pay 4 or 5 times more for a clean-tasting gin than ask their bartender to make it dirty? A while back, my wife and I were waiting for a dinner table at the bar at Bucca Di Beppo. I ordered a Beefeater Gin Martini, and was surprised that the  bartender asked if I wanted it dirty. I thought, why drown the flavor of an expensive gin with olive juice?  This is akin to mixing the expensive Grey Goose vodka with the very bitter taste of cranberry juice.  Can you imagine anyone thinking they can make a clean-tasting vodka taste any worse than an unclean, cheaper vodka after mixing it with the most bitter fruit juice on the planet? Now, consider what makes a clean, clear liquor:. Filtering. What happens when you shake the heck out of your vodka or gin in a stainless steel shaker of ice? You are filtering the living daylights out of it. Drop in a lemon slice, olive or splash of vermouth and you’ve pretty much nullified the difference between clean, expensive gin vs. a less-clean, cheaper one. And if you like your gin martini dirty, you could just as well filter your gin through a moldy sock because olive juice has a little bit of that sour flavor, anyway. In fact, the salty, tart olive juice will make it indistinguishable from a rock-bottom cheap bottle of gin. I’m not quite being fair to Taaka, however. I don’t believe it tastes like a rock-bottom gin at all. In fact, it’s distinguished juniper-flavor makes me think of it as a poor-man’s Bombay Sapphire and that my friends, is the Dirty Little Secret about the Gin Martini. I give Taaka Gin a thumbs up.

Taaka Gin Final Rating

  • Flavor: 88
  • Smoothness (clean taste): 72
  • Price: 100
  • As a Martini:84

Overall: 86

  5 Responses to “The Gin Martini and a Dirty Little Secret”

  1. ha ha. This is great! I love the part about the moldy sock. I definitely have to find me some Taaka Vodka and Taaka Gin. I’ve never tried either of them, but I’m all for, cheap!

  2. I like almost all gins. I have tried all of the expensive gins. I like plymouth and beefeaters the best. Taaka gin is very good for its price. I would say it is like Burnets gin. Burnets is a good inexpensive gin, better than Gordons and the like. Taaka makes a good martini. I like a dry( 4×1) martiniwith an olive. not dirty

  3. Thank you for commenting and leaving us your impressions of martinis. I think we have much in common with our tastes. the 4×1 gin to vermouth is the way I like my martinis. I also think Beefeaters is one of my favorites, though I have not tried Plymouth Gin. You’ve given me a good notion to try it!

  4. I’m a G&T guy. My favorite is Cork Dry Gin which is not available in the US. Next up would be Beefeater at $27 a bottle. Then there is Taaka – the best kept gin secret for which I regularly pay $11. Booths is good too though.

  5. I agree whole-heartedly with Nollaig. If I’m going to splurge on a good gin, I’ll buy Beefeater. Taaka is the best deal going for an every-day gin martini.

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