As a vodka drinker, gin has always been my nemesis. I’m a sucker for the simplicity of vodka so the flavors of a good gin represent an untapped resource my pallet may just need to explore. But how in the world am I to find a good test subject among the ever growing herd on the wild plains of the liquor store shelf? I’ve got it-I’ll find a snazzy bottle!
In a perfect reflection of its name, Bulldog comes in a stout bottle surrounded by a studded collar. Points on the coolness factor there.
Once I got this puppy home (see what I did there) I couldn’t wait to crack it open and I wasn’t disappointed with the smell. While the juniper is the dominant ingredient, Bulldog’s use of 12 other botanicals really creates a diverse flavor profile. Among those are Chinese lotus leaves, lavender, poppy and my favorite…Dragon Eye (long believed to be an aphrodisiac so bottoms up).
My first taste of this gin happily brought me out of my comfort zone. This is a big spirit that is going to really satisfy gin lovers. If you want something subtle and boring…check elsewhere. There is such a wide array of flavors that it takes more than a few sips to really appreciate it and determine for yourself exactly how broad the profile is. My gut was telling me that with big flavor comes a damn good mixed drink so onward and upward!
My first concoction was a dirty martini, the aptly named “Dirty Dog”. Mix 6oz of Bulldog with 1/2 oz olive juice (or more depending on taste) and garnish with your favorite olive. My new best friend did not disappoint! For those who stick to vodka martinis, be prepared for flavor that blows away anything you’ve had. I know the dirty martini isn’t for everyone but trust me, using a standard martini recipe with a few bitters splashed in will not disappoint.
Next up was a simple gin and tonic. I’ve always been a fan of this blend when made right…it’s simple, it’s clean. Once again I was very happy with how well the flavors of the gin really brought to life what can sometimes be a rather “blah” drink recipe.
Now if you’ve come this far in the testing, chances are you may not feel so great in the morning which brings me to probably my favorite of the bunch, The Hair of The Dog. You’ve been there so stop looking at the screen with that confused, tilted head dog look (sorry can’t help myself). For this beauty you mix 6oz of Bulldog with 1/2 oz lemon juice and as much hot sauce as your rumbling little tummy can tolerate. Mix and serve in a chilled rocks glass. Toss in a little of sliced red pepper if you are up to it (you’ve come this far so why not).
I take my hat off to you Bulldog, converting a vodka lover to gin is no easy task so you’ve overcome a lot here. I can’t guarantee I’ll stay but at least I know the door is open.
Now it’s bonus time for you lovers out there. Knowing that Bulldog contains a natural aphrodisiac, let’s kick it up a few levels shall we? I can’t think of anything better than a drink that tastes good AND gets you all…well you know. This next drink is sure to create some sparks in the bedroom.
1oz Bulldog Gin
1 1/2 oz Lychee Liqueur
1 Dash Lychee Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with 2 or 3 lychees and viola…love in a glass.
(If you are asking yourself “what the hell is lychee liqueur?” right now, take a peek here.