So I was in the butcher shop, of all places, and came across a cocktail curiosity completely new to me: Carmencita’s Botanicals for Gin & Tonic.
Essentially the product provides little bits of some of the botanicals often found in gin. You plop them into your Gin & Tonic to add additional flavor and scents and whatnot.
Gimmicky? Sure! But it’s a pretty nifty way to dress up an often samey standby.
First, the visuals are great — vivid, colorful little things either stirred below the ice or resting on top, or both. As the minutes pass the hibiscus bleeds off some of its crimson hue, creating a floaty red smudge.
Flavors? Less so, but still usefully additive.
The cardamom provides a surprisingly nice nose. [On my second experiment I gently broke the shell of the pods and the effect was enhanced. In time the pink peppercorns add some bite. The juniper? Seems redundant, and I’m not sure you need to turn up that flavor in a gin.
I know what you’re thinking. [I always know what you’re thinking. How do I do it?] Can’t you just buy the spices and and save a lot of money?
Why, yes, I can. And I will.
I’ll thank Carmencita every time.