Cheers January/February 2013

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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New Spins on Gin Operators get creative with the original flavored spirit By Kelly A. Magyarics W The vintage-inspired Cucumber Collins from Ruth's Chris Steak House includes Hendrick's gin, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, fresh lime juice and muddled cucumber. 28 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013 hether mixed in a proper Martini or modern Basil Gimlet, gin is a star behind the bar. The spirit's botanicals add layered dimension, translating to infinite possibilities in the shaker. The modern accessibility of old-school recipes is fueling interest and helping to bring gin to the bar's forefront. "The bartenders and the customers simply know more now than they did decades ago," says Jim Ryan, brand ambassador for Hendrick's gin. With a smartphone, you can find the original recipe for a White Lady from nearly a century ago, tracking its growth up to today's version—all in seconds, he notes. Gin was the dominant spirit for centuries until it was overshadowed by vodka more than 50 years ago, says Patricia Richards, the master mixologist for the 25 restaurants and bars at the 4,700-room Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Resort. And there is no substitute for the pre-Prohibition spirit: "I find that [gin's] botanicals add depth, complexity and character to a cocktail that vodka simply cannot," Richards says. Gordon Ramsay Steak at Caesar's Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas sells seven gins, priced from $10 to $14; the top sellers are Hendrick's, Tanqueray 10 and Plymouth. General manager Jean-Philippe Teresi says more guests have been requesting classic gin cocktails. The 273-seat contemporary steakhouse offers six gin drinks on its "Perfect Ten" list. The Southside ($11), for instance, features Plymouth gin, lime and mint, topped with Perrier Jouët Champagne. The Red Lion ($14) combines Tanqueray gin with Grand Marnier, lemon juice and orange bitters. At Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, "Our cocktails are all vintageinspired with a twist," says director of beverage strategy Helen Mackey. "Gin has probably seen some upside, and at the

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