Though it’s located in the heart of Toronto’s Little Italy, College Street Bar was pulsing with a decidedly English beat on this sultry summer night. The occasion was the launch of Bulldog London Dry Gin, a “defiantly different” premium gin, distinctly packaged in a stout, smoked grey bottle with bold white lettering and a distinctive spiked collar around the neck.
Quadruple copper pot distilled at a London distillery with over 250 years of tradition, this gin is not only infused with the usual botanical suspects (we’re lookin’ at you, juniper), but others much more rarely seen (Dragon Eye, anyone? Lotus leaves?). Though complex in its creation, the target market for this brand appears to be squarely the “young adult” segment, as witnessed by the images cavorting through the looped ad playing across the flat screen (also by the fact that we were probably the oldest ones in the room).
The barhops at College Street where kept busy mixing up a plethora of Bulldog cocktails (dogtails?) including the night’s “signature drinks,” the Abby Gimlet and the Raspberry Fields Forever (recipe below). We were also introduced to a new mixing technique; so along with “stirred” and “shaken,” we now have “pulverized,” as the mixologists employed an agitation technique that subjected the liquid to something akin to the subtle muddling dolled out by a paint shaker. If it’s true that gin can be bruised, the stuff in those beakers must have been close to a bloodied pulp. Didn’t seem to affect the flavour of the cocktails, though, so no worries. And it was a bit of an impressive show. Anyway…
At a price of just shy of $30, Bulldog London Dry Gin is certainly competitive with other premium gins on the shelves. Balanced, clean, and zesty with hints of spice and citrus, it is nevertheless relatively light in body and seems to show best when used as a cocktail base rather than the main player in classic martini. However, this shouldn’t stand in the way of the brand’s success…after all, we didn’t see any of the hot young things in the t.v. spot sipping martinis.
RASPBERRY FIELDS FOREVER
Experience the winning combination of Bulldog London Dry Gin, Lychee Juice, and Fresh Raspberry. This cocktails beautiful colour and presentation is an original blend of flavours you and your friends will love!