To other Young Aficionados out there
who enjoy a good cocktail…
Join Me in a New Year’s Toast to Gin!

I enjoy testing my palette with all things alcohol, but gin has never been at the top of my radar—until now.   Any time I taste a new spirit, my wheels start turning. What can I create, or what would be the perfect pairing? Learning the background and history of gin-making was a first step.

Roxor Gin’s slogan says, “A Captivating Taste for Intriguing Women & Discriminating Men.”
That includes Chase Dalton ( left)

I enjoy testing my palette with all things alcohol, but gin has never been at the top of my radar—until now.   Any time I taste a new spirit, my wheels start turning. What can I create, or what would be the perfect pairing? Learning the background and history of gin-making was a first step.

Gin originated back in the Middle Ages as a medicinal liquor.  In England it was first introduced as Jenever, a juniper flavored liquor that still was used for medicinal purposes.   Gin didn’t become a drink of leisure until import restrictions and tariffs were placed by England on French products including brandy.  The unlicensed production of gin was allowed in England, thus the early gin produced in England became the drink of the poor, made with poor-quality barley that was unfit for brewing beer and oftentimes flavored with turpentine! Secretly produced “bathtub gin” was available in the speakeasies of Prohibition-era America as a result of the relatively simple production.

The history of how tonic came around is another quirky tale.  Tonic’s distinctive bitter flavor comes from quinine, derived from the bark of the cinchona tree originating in South America.  Quinine at one time was thought to cure malaria.  Soda water and sugar were added to create the first tonic water.  The ever-popular gin and tonic first came about when people used gin to mask the flavor of quinine.

Thankfully, as time went on, the recipe for both gin and tonic and their quality kept evolving.  With the creation of column stills, came the invention of the London dry gin late in the 19th century.  The pure alcohol required neither sweetening nor flavoring to mask the quality of the spirit.  While the unique aroma and flavor of gin remain primarily that of juniper berries, 20th century distillers including Bombay Sapphire and Hendricks heralded the practice of scouring the world for herbs and fruits, seeds and barks and capturing them in the neutral spirit of gin.  Gin allowed each distiller to capture purity and individuality in taste and flavor, resulting in highly personal creations. Chinese green teas and rare Japenese Sencha teas became the core botanicals that underpin Beefeater 24 vaulting gin to the status of becoming the preferred spirit by none less than the British Royal Household before the face of the London cocktail scene brought gin to the center stage with the introduction of the Dry Martini in the 1990s.

I decided to procure a couple of bottles of gin, inviting friends and family to imbibe on a gin-tasting journey. From mixing cocktails, to enjoying gin alongside meals, and pairing it with cigars, an incredible journey was had!  We found ourselves taken with the smooth artisan Dallas-made gin, Roxor.  It counterbalances the juniper berry flavor with hints of citrus (grapefruit and lime) then teases flavors of pecans and cinnamon.

It’s Texas Made!

Created by former Coca-Cola Executive Don Short, and James Beard awarded chef and biochemist Robert Del Grande, Roxor is “The First Texan Gin.” The duo behind it pride themselves as innovators of plant-based spirits.  The distillery’s home base is located in Dallas, Texas. Come to find out, people that were once avid vodka drinkers are now enthusiastic Roxor drinkers and incorporate Roxor’s unique skyline bottle as decor!

Lucky for me, Café Pacific in the highly notable Highland Park Village of Dallas, provided an opportunity for full appreciation with its recipe for a drink it calls “The Roxy.” You start with a shaker. Pour 2 oz of Roxor Gin, add 1 oz. of St. Germain, 2 dashes of sea salt, .75 oz of grapefruit juice, .25 Oz of lime juice, and lastly, 2 dashes of angostura bitters. Shake it like your straight out of the movie Cocktail and strain into a martini glass. Get fancy and garnish it with a grapefruit wedge. Stand back, witness your creation and enjoy!

Next time I’m in Dallas, joining Roxor for a tour and tasting at their Distillery
at 8202 Chancellor Row is on my list of must-dos!


Stay tuned!  Future posts from Young Aficionado Chase Dalton will include his reviews on more boats as well as cars, watches, cigars, art, photography, wine and spirits.  As an avid huntsman and fisherman, Chase will also cover sports travel.