NOLET’S the new gin from the Netherlands have it shaken, stirred, dirty or dry simple and sophisticated


Michael Hepworth


By Elyse Glickman

West Hollywood, CA(Spiritsman)4/28/12/—Like a black tee shirt, a Rolex watch or aviator sunglasses, the gin Martini is at once simple and sophisticated. It is also as personal as whoever orders it or makes it, as he can have it shaken, stirred, dirty or dry. Another way to personalize it is what gin you select as your foundation.  You can reach for the classic, herbaceous U.K. gin Bombay Sapphire or be daring with NOLET, the new gin from the Netherlands that weaves in aromas and flavors of Turkish rose, peach and white raspberry. This fruit-and-food friendly gin comes from the family that brought the world Ketel One® Vodka.

“Here’s the quintessential cocktail, the one that inspires all others,” declared consummate showman-mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim to a group of rapt food and lifestyle writers. “We’re talking fire and ice. Liquid satin. Fred Astaire in a glass. Surgical cleanliness, insight, comfort, absolution and redemption. We should not be surprised that more arguments have been waged, marriages broken and battles fought over the preparation of the cocktail that defined a nation.”

While Las Vegas-based Abou-Ganim built his reputation as a trendsetter, the Italian Rivera-inspired charm of Cecconi’s in West Hollywood provided the perfect platform for him to demonstrate why the Bombay Sapphire gin martini and other classics like the Negroni (pictured) and the Aviation are forever timeless, in their original states or as starting points for contemporary cocktails. His presentation was a hands-on history lesson, where the participants firmed up their measuring and stirring techniques in the process.  The results surprised even admitted cocktail novices in the room.

“There is a real myth surrounding the art of mixology that it’s reserved only for the high-and-mighty priest—the bartender—standing behind the great alter (known as) the bar,” Abou-Ganim affirmed.  “However, all you need is a top quality gin, the right tools, and a few techniques to be as good at home as the bartenders at your favorite nightspot.”

Tony’s tips:

  • Dry vermouth, which marries with the botanicals found in Bombay Sapphire, should be refrigerated, not stored in a liquor cabinet, and should be used within a month.
  • Always measure the sweet and sour ingredients with a jigger to ensure accuracy and that your drink will be perfectly balanced.
  • Pick out thin-skinned lemons at the market, and keep them at room temperature before you squeeze them. Squeeze, filter and refrigerate immediately, and use it within 36 hours. If you keep lemon juice around too long, the lemon juice will start to oxidize.
  • Martinis are better stirred rather than shaken to ensure that “velvet in a glass” effect. Shaking will dilute or aerate the cocktails.

Though you can never go wrong with entertaining with classics like the Aviation or the Negroni, farmers’ market food may tempt you to serve gin cocktails that complement the ingredients. NOLET’s Silver, billing itself as “The New Face of Gin™”is a great base for seasonal cocktails paired with fresh spring ingredients to complement NOLET’S Silver’s unusually mild palate.

(above: Vietnamese Pork Sandwich; below: roasted chicken with Asian-influenced coulis)

NOLET rolled out at Santa Monica, CA’s FIG restaurant.  Though this beachside fine dining spot is known for its patronage of local farmer’s markets and fresh, French cafe cuisine, the seasonal menu had some subtle Asian twists as well as simple preparations that allowed the natural flavors of individual ingredients to shine through.  The following Nolet cocktails followed suit, and are equal parts fresh and refreshing.

NOLET’s Silver Raspberry Collins

1 1/4 oz NOLET’s Silver Gin
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
3  red raspberries
Soda for topper

Stir all ingredients except soda with ice in a martini shaker and pour into a Collins glass.  Top with soda and garnish with a raspberry.

Mandarin Fizz

1 1/4 oz NOLET’s Silver Gin
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 muddled mandarin tangerine
Whipped egg white
2-3 dashes orange bitters.

We’ve Got the Beet

1 1/4 oz NOLET’s Silver Gin
1/2 oz apple juice infused simple syrup
2 oz fresh beet juice
absinthe spray or wash on the glass
apple wedge garnish

Stir all ingredients with ice in a martini shaker and pour into a glass washed with absinthe.  Top with soda and garnish with the apple wedge.

Palisades Coffee

1 1/4 oz NOLET’s Silver Gin
1 oz espresso
1/2 oz cream or whole milk
2-3 dashes chocolate bitters

Stir in a shaker and serve in a coupe glass.

Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211