Now and then we walk the Altstadt and look for something we may have missed. Sadly in Dresden with the comi-capitalists that have ran this city into a generic tourist trap this is usually a hard find. Of course in hard repression comes greater passion and it was a pleasant surprise to find this little treasure that specialized in Gin.
That is right Gin!
The Snap’s Favourite Spirit and perhaps the pinnacle of all Spirits in terms of skill, complexity, and civilization. For those who are not initiated into the finer region of the various gins available and still think that it tastes like turpentine you are surely missing out on a very beautiful world. Of course if you are of the company that has tried all the better gin available and still think it tastes of turpentine then you may as well stop reading and slurp down whatever it is you prefer as your in the wrong company.
There is an old saying that goes something along the lines if you want to make a cocktail better substitute gin instead of vodka. Vodka for me seems a bit of a strange spirit in the spirits world as mostly you want the spirit to be a fine blend of various flavours and scents. The better you blend and the more complex the combination is then usually the higher the quality. In vodka is seems to be all about the lack of taste and sort of where gin goes its own direction.
The Dresden Gin House had first caught my attention naturally because of the name. What had got us Snap’s in the door though was the fact they had a few of the better tonic waters. Slapping together any old tonic with any gin often will lead to a poor mix. G and T, or Gin an Tonic is often a great way to show this spirits attributes. Alcohol of 40% or higher is often not the best percentage to taste with as the higher percentage of the actual alcohol creates an anesthetic effect and blocks our taste sensation and can create pain. Even with fine Scotch and other Whiskeys you will find tasting experts using pure water to dilute the spirit down to about 20% strength in alcohol.
Gin is for some reason when combined with the right tonic just one of those perfect matches made in heaven. Much like cheese and wine, or fries and steak it just works when put together with a bit of care. Not all cheese works with all wine, and not all version of the fries go with all preparation of steaks and the fine tastes of gin do require some finesse to mix.
The bar is a nice dark romantic plush atmosphere but with out even a hint of pretentiousness. Being a specialist in gin there is a vast variety to choose from, which naturally leaves a big direction in what one should choose. Our host who I believe was one of the two brothers who own this bar helped with direction and what we where feeling like. He was very passionate but polite and helped me with my host of questions. What I was most impressed with was him bringing down the actual bottles, letting me smell them and then poring small samples to taste which helped with my decision. This is a very important area that so many bloody places are too arrogant or stupid to realize is needed. I don’t go to a bar to talk about how something tastes much like I would not go to a car dealer and not test drive something I was interested in. No I do not suggest I should be getting shots for free but this I must say is really top notch service and we are just talking samples.
Out of sure curiosity I had tried a saffron type gin as this was something new to me and always been taunting me at the shops. It was suggested that this be paired with the Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic and garnished with a black berry.
What a perfect blending of rich saffron, a very slight touch of black berry lightly lifted by the subtle and delicate flavours of the tonic. The German Snap had what was recommended as the owners favourite Gin. This was recommend as she loves the Monkey 47. Unlike the Monkey 47 which contains 47 different herbs and spices this one was 22ish range. WOW it was good and had all the finesse of the Monkey but in a completely different character. Matter fact it was so good that was my next drink and we ended up purchasing a bottle to take back to the Snap House.
I have not mentioned this last gin’s name but this is with good reason as soon I will place it on the Snap site. Patients sometimes does pay off 😉
The Dresden Gin House is a very nice and welcome addition to this city and I do hope to see more smaller and passionate establishments appear. In my humble opinion it is these businesses that make a city special and worth while for tourists and those who live here. I can only speak for myself on this subject but I would search out this house if I was in another city.
The service is above the mark and a great place to enjoy with someone special. As someone who is always wondering what the various gins taste like that are often for sale at various speciality stores, and not being able to taste them this is a great setup. With out a doubt the Snap’s have been back for some repeated sips and helped me taste gins I would have normally missed.
Now go on and get down and taste some gin.