From the crow’s nest-like back room of Eveleigh on Sunset overlooking Los Angeles, the nautical Plymouth Gin launched a new bottle design. Their slim, elegant art deco glass has, since March, slowly been replaced by the round shape and antique style of retro packaging that pays homage to the distiller’s 200-plus year history.
A copper cap mirrors the single copper alembic pot still that is being used in production since the Victorian Days. The new label features the Mayflower, the ship that set sail for the New World in 1620 after the Pilgrims stayed the night at the Black Friars monastery in Plymouth, the location of Plymouth’s distilling since 1793—the oldest working distillery in England.
Plymouth is a robust, complicated gin with hints of citrus, coriander, and of course juniper. It tacks well to whatever other ingredients blow its way, whether sweet, sour, or spicy.
On the negative side, scuttlebutt from bartenders in Los Angeles says the new bottle is a little footloose, difficult to handle and pour. Consumers need to brace for the new, higher suggested retail price of $33 for 1-liter (it will be less for 750ml).
Bartender David Kupchinsky was the First Mate aboard the Eveleigh for this London gin journey. He astutely navigated the cocktail menu to simple but very toothsome ports. He even allowed others behind the stick to hold the rudder for a bit and mix their own cocktails, so easy were they to steer. Recipes ahoy:
The Eveleigh: Plymouth Gin, Barolo Chinato, Rooibos Tea infused Vermouth Blanc
Bon Poire: Plymouth Gin, Pear and Marjoram infused Dry Vermouth, Cochi Americano
A gin and housemade tonic featured Beefeater, and the punch was a wonderful course of Beefeater 24, Campari, house-made rosemary syrup, and lemon juice.
Note the Vermouth infusions, a great idea (now legal in California) to subtly alter your basic martini recipes. “I like spirit forward cocktails,” said David. Preferring to know what’s inside the glass, his Vermouth infusions add just a touch of taste to brands like Plymouth, which is still a daily issue to British naval officers. With talented spirit sailors like David aboard fine ships like the Eveleigh, it’s clear sailing ahead for Plymouth.
Check out the slideshow above port for more images from our voyage.
DISCLOSURE: The delicious dinner and drinks were comped for me plus one for this event.