Little satisfies the trend-trapper, the huntsman of the subcultural movement, like a pocket of perfectly contained micro-trend. The gin explosion, for example, has grown and continued for so many years that it resembles rather a rocket trail scorching across the heavens than a single firework. So a bubble of variation within the category is a welcome slice of novelty – and that it should appear with such synchronicity from both sides of the Atlantic: well, that’s just the proverbial icing.
All of which delivers us to Bathtub Gin.
Over in New York, Bathtub Gin is a new bar of the speakeasy ilk, concealed behind a store front for a Brooklyn roastery (the Stone Street Coffee Company, as it happens). While it serves the expected retro-based cocktails with a twist (ginger-tinged gin slings, par example), dispensed with care by well-dressed barkeeps, the 9th Street cocktailery’s music choice reflects its propensity for not taking itself to seriously; Cole Porter at shift’s start drifting into party-friendly Dre-land by night’s end.
Over here, meanwhile, Bathtub Gin is also the name of the latest house product from Master of Malt: “an extraordinary gin, produced by the enigmatic Professor Cornelius Ampleforth.” Made via the good-ol’ Hogarthian process of cold compounding (think: ‘bathtub’ full of spirit macerating with botanicals) using an apparently top notch copper pot spirit base and delivering a cheerily punchy, juniper-licious, spiced orange product, packaged in an apothecary-friendly bottle, wrapped in brown paper and yarn, and finished with a simple, monochromatic stamped logo on the front.
Two Bathtubs; two simple, slightly silly yet deceptively well-thought out and tasty classics (hopefully) in the making.