juniper june

Juniper June recap | 3st of the Month

If we heard it once, we heard it 1,000 times - everyone was saying our Juniper June at Riverwood Mansion was their favorite 3st of the Month yet!

Why? It could have been the incredible venue, the great playlist, the tasty bites or even the incredible top-shelf lineup of amazing BOOZE mixed by some of Nashville's best bartenders, but we think it was probably a combination of all of these that made it so magical.

The magic started with the weather. It was a beautiful, sunny June evening as guests arrived at the 1790s mansion, stunned by the beautiful grounds and gardens. After checking in an picking up a map and their souvenir glass courtesy of ACRE, guests stepped through the massive front doors of the mansion to the sounds of a period playlist. The rooms inside were filled with incredible boozy surprises (hence, the need for that map). But when they made their way to the back pavilion, they discovered more than dozen more tables filled with even more booze - and a central food display from 8 Lavender Lane

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It was a worthy cause that brought together 400+ people to imbibe on top-shelf spirits mixed by some of Nashville's best bartenders. On Target 4 Vets is a charity dedicated to providing support to wounded and disabled veterans through adaptive sports and recreational therapy. Staffed entirely by volunteer veterans, it's not only a great cause, but one where 90% of their budget goes directly to the programs they produce. 

All in all, there were a total of 21 tables of booze and beer, many with multiple options of spirits and cocktails. Oh, and let's not forget the MAJOR BONUS of the Wild Turkey bus pulling up halfway through! Folks got to step on board the bus and sample from exception offerings. Click to enlarge the map of the event and find your favorites from the night. >>>

juniper june booze participants:

gin: 101

A few months back we sent out a survey to our members asking them (among other things) what booze they hoped to see at a future 3st of the Month. The overwhelming winner was gin. This honestly surprised us a bit. We had already been planning on doing a gin-themed 3st, but knew it has a bit of a bad rap. You can thank your grandfather for that. People seem to think all gin tastes like pine trees (not that that's a bad thing). They're wrong.

Gin is for cocktails - not on its own. You can drink tequila and mescal as shots, and vodka is served chilled with food (zakuski) in its native land. Bourbon, rye and whiskey drinkers might add some ice or a splash of water. Gin is meant to be mixed, however, as the botanicals (herbs, spices etc.) come to life in cocktails and add complexity to the drink. This is why so many classic cocktails call for gin
— Simon Ford, Gin Historian

The truth is gin is about as diverse of a spirit as you can find. Whereas vodka, tequila, whiskey and bourbon all pretty much owe their differences to the types of grains (or agave), methods of fermentation and distillation, time of again and barrels used (if any), gin has all of those and more. Because, unlike these other spirits, gin is a result secret formulations of botanicals added at different points of the process to result in a highly flavorful spirit. To be called "gin" it must have some juniper, but the other botanicals can include a wide array of herbs, vegetables, flowers, fruits, spices and even tea. Each brand uses a different formula and many use different base spirits to begin with. Some are even aged in barrels. It's pretty complex shit. So, to help prep you for Juniper June, we've put together a bit of a gin primer to get you 'ed-gin-icated' on the types of gin.

Genever

Pronounced (in this country anyway) "gin-KNEE-ver," Genever is basically the 'grandfather' of gin. Though the true history is fuzzy to say the best (we are talking about booze here after all), it's thought that it was the Dutch that started making gin by adding juniper to cover the taste of the alcohol. Genever was originally used medicinally, thought to 'cure' ailments ranging from kidney ailments to gallstones to gout. Today, Genever is made from a base spirit distilled from malted wine, giving it a soft mouth feel and slightly sweeter flavor than many other gins.

London Dry

Many think of London as the birthplace of gin due to their longstanding history with it. It's said that in the year 1730, the average Londoner drank 18 gallons of gin a year! Today, London Dry Gin is used to describe a style of gin, not the location in which it is made. Like the name would suggest London Dry gin is dry, meaning not sweet. It's the classic gin that people think of when they say they 'don't like gin,' most often due to the dry nature and highly-flavored botanical profile, of which juniper is the predominant ingredient. Sometimes just referred to as London Gin, it's distilled from grain and then distilled again with the actual plant material that adds the flavor. To be called London Gin, it not have sugar or other additives other than water and the plant materials that flavor it.

Plymouth

Rich in flavor and texture like Genever, yet dry like London Gin, Plymouth Gin is a unique, protected style of gin originating from the city of Plymouth, South West England. Since 1793 it has been distilled from a unique blend of 7 botanicals, soft Dartmoor water and pure grain alcohol at the historic Black Friars Distillery - the oldest working distillery in England.

Old Tom

Though not as popular as it's gin siblings, Old Tom Gin is essentially a sweeter version of London Gin. Still made from grain distillates and highly flavored. Old Tom Gin became popular in 18th Century England before falling out of favor. Thanks to the craft cocktail movement, many new Old Tom recipes are being released commercially.

New American or International-Style

In some cases, the only thing New American Gin has in common with the other varieties is juniper. But that's where the similarities can end, as all rules are discarded and a range of new and exciting botanicals are added through various methods, imparting a huge variety of flavor from brand to brand. Just by substituting a New American Gin for London Gin, a classic cocktail and be new again.