Event Tickets My Account Advertise About Us Contact Us Archive RSS Newsletters
Edit Module Edit Module
Monday, December 17, 2012

Phillips Gin-Ka: Drink Like James Bond

Phillips Gin-Ka: Drink Like James Bond

Local spirits company Phillips first introduced Gin-Ka—described on the label as "a happy mix of gin and vodka"—in 1971, back when gin was all the rage and vodka was barely on the scene. A few years ago, then-CEO Dean Phllips joked to me that he wanted to bring it back as "Vod-In" to reacquaint vodka drinkers with gin, now that the spirits' popularity has flip-flopped.

This fall, vintage-branded Gin-Ka has returned to bars and liquor stores around the state (Zipps in Minneapolis has a fairly large stash). Phillips sent over a bottle and I found it somewhat perplexing: it tastes like gin...diluted by vodka. Convenient, I suppose, to have one bottle that could be used in gin drinks or vodka drinks, but when you want gin don't you really want real gin and when you want vodka don't you really want real vodka? Is liquor cabinet space at such a premium that gin-vodka consolidation is necessary?

But then, inspired by the new James Bond flick, Skyfall, I thought of the Vesper, a drink Bond invents in Casino Royale: three measures of gin, one of vodka, and half a measure of Kina Lillet shaken until cold and then garnished with lemon peel. Kina Lillet has since been reformulated as Lillet Blanc, so I used Cocchi Americano (a close substitute, recently brought into the American market by local rare spirits importer Eric Seed).

In the Vesper, Gin-Ka makes sense: straight gin would cover up the flavor of the Cocchi; straight vodka would be overwhelemd by it. The drink is relatively smooth for its (intense) strength. Appropriate fuel for killing enemy agents and bedding gorgeous women, I suppose.

**If you'd rather have someone else mix your drink for you, the Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar serves a very similar cocktail they call the Vespar, in which aquavit substitutes for vodka—it's very boozy, yet tastes mellow and refined.

Posted on Monday, December 17, 2012 in Permalink

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

Dec 29, 2012 07:06 pm
 Posted by  foodstoned

I may have to pickup a bottle. Usually I prefer regular martini's, but reading this made me thirsty so I'm going to take that as a sign.

Add your comment:
Edit Module

About This Blog

TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally bring the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Minnesota Monthly Senior Editor Rachel Hutton, Sustainable Food Correspondent Marie Flanagan, Chef Jason Ross, Food Writer Joy Summers, and Drinks & Real Food Senior Editor Mary Subialka. Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Sign up for our monthly dining e-blast:

MNMO Dish Sign-up

The Latest in MNMO

REVIEWS QUICK BITES
Best New Restaurants Mosaic
Icehouse Cool Primebar
Haute Hot Dogs Technique
Culinary Cloning Fika
Birdhouse Takes Flight Corner Table
Best Bars Left Handed Cook
Creative Cocktailing A Lotta Burrata


* Access all reviews here. 

restaurants Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Edit Module
Edit Module