For those of us who find an old fashioned to be a touch on the sweet side — or perhaps you’re trying to lay off the whiskey and bourbon families for awhile (no shame, my friends, we’ve all been there), Jackson Hole Still Works’ Great Grey Gin Old Fashioned may be the perfect spin on tradition you’ve been desperately looking for. With six different dried herbs and spices, the Great Grey proves to be a strikingly flawless balance of bright and tart flavors topped with hints of cinnamon for a cozy winter drink.
While the classic old fashioned calls for bourbon or rye whiskey, the Great Grey version highlights the floral and spice elements found in the more approachable style of Still Works’ spirit, where they (respectfully) exploit infusion and botanicals throughout the distillation process. Since they combine both saturation and vapor infusion for their secret sauce, owners Chas Marsh and Travis Goodman are adamant this spirit is to be stirred, not shaken. If you can embrace the stir, you’ll experience the definition of what it means to prolong the essence of botanicals while supercharging your tastebuds.
Still Works doesn’t stop at a smooth final product — they stick to their mantra of high quality ingredients and the local food movement (not to mention local art featured on the interior of all their bottles). I urge you to arm yourself with this extra credit material at your next party, where you can tout their non-GMO, Wyoming farmed grains directly sourced from the Bighorn Basin. Want to know just how small batch we’re talking? Goodman and Marsh do it all themselves as a two-man team. Oh, and did I mention it’s naturally gluten free?
Sure, it may be daring to call a gin’s delicate, juniper berry base a realistic substitute for a burly, barrel aged whiskey, but I double-dog-dare you to pull this recipe out of your hat during the next snowfall. As Still Works “Cocktail Creationist” Zach Isler describes it, this simple style cocktail uses lemon oleo syrup made from the peel of a lemon combined with Lillet for a subtle layer of softness to highlight the deeper flavors of the gin. Go ahead, stir up a batch and depart on a heady trip to winter’s wonderland you won’t soon forget.
Ingredients (single serving)
1.75oz Great Grey Gin
.25oz Lillet Blanc
2 Barspoons of Lemon Oleo
1 Dash Aromatic Bitters
Combine Great Grey Gin, Lillet Blanc, lemon oleo, and aromatic bitters over lager ice cubes into a large glass or cocktail shaker. Stir to mix & chill the cocktail. Strain & pour into a rocks glass. Zest a large piece of lemon skin, gently rub it around the rim of the glass then drop in to garnish.
Lemon Oleo Recipe
Remove zest from a 5 large lemons in wide strips with a vegetable peeler, leaving behind the white pith. Add 1/2 cup white sugar. Gently toss the sugar into the peels in a medium bowl. Then, using a muddler or wooden spoon, lightly press the lemon peels and sugar until peels begin to express their oils. Cover & let sit for at least 3 hours, but up to one day (flavor will intensify over time). Add 1/4 cup water. Stir & strain into an airtight container, pressing on solids to extract as much oil as possible; discard zest. Cover oil and chill.
For more on all the awesome things these guys are doing check out www.jhstillworks.com.