I wandered down Centre Street to do some random window shopping this afternoon. I have to say Boomerangs, JP’s finest thrift store, had some really amazing furniture. In particular a yellowish mustard velour sofa that clearly belongs in the Kennedy School movie theatre in Portland, Oregon. If I had the space for it, and no spousal creative director to answer to, I would’ve easily plopped down $120 for it.
Further into my adventures brought me to Aviary Gallery. I keep forgetting what a great little gallery space this is. Honestly, any gallery with a mild-mannered greyhound named Eva hanging out is good enough for me.
Lindsay Metivier, the founder, chatted with me for a bit and it looks like the gallery will be celebrating their one year anniversary this March.
Their current exhibit features work by Neptune frontman Jason Sanford. Being a musician/artist type I always love interactive work especially when said work is hand-made instruments that you can actually play.
I also really love smallish galleries that, despite their diminutive stature, demand just as much presence and attention as a larger space. Aviary does a fantastic job of parsing out the scale of the work with the given floor plan.
On the way home I was thinking about gin. Last week I bought a bottle of Q Tonic from, of all places, the fabulous TJ Maxx. Oh those Brits and their savvy way of incorporating alcohol into their preventative malaria concoction.
It seems like ten years ago if you were a gin drinker your options were limited to Bombay, Beefeater and Tanqueray. (For a long time my standby was Bombay Sapphire.)
Present day it seems like spirits are to the 2010’s what micro-brews were to the 1990’s. Suddenly micro-breweries, and even wineries for that matter, are producing some really interesting craft spirits.
At Blanchard’s on Centre I was immediately drawn to a hand dipped wax seal bottle of Barr Hill gin by Caledonia Spirits & Winery, Vermont respectively.
From their website:
This Gin is a celebration of our special connection to the land. We use pure grain spirits as a canvas to showcase juniper berry and raw northern honey. Added just before bottling, the raw honey imparts unique floral qualities that vary with season and blossom.
My first instinct was to try and concoct a straight up martini given the gin’s profile.
Attempt one: 1 part Lillet Blonde, 1 part lemon cello, 3 parts Barr Hill = meh, too much.
The thing is, this gin is fairly complex. It’s very floral and the honey is very pronounced.
Attempt two: 1 part Lillet Blonde, 3 parts Barr Hill = decent!
Even if I had a dry vermouth on hand I can’t really imagine this working; hence the Lillet which normally pairs excellently with gin.
Again, I think the complexity of the gin really speaks on its own and is best enjoyed chilled by itself.
Attempt three: classic G&T, twist of lime = Perfect.
I do like Q Tonic. It has a softer carbonation and no corn sweeteners. This ended up being the winning combination, but now I am wondering what kind of Negroni this would make.
If only I had some Campari.