WRITER Chris Doorley
Can gin kick-start your kidneys and bladder? Sort of. Like its neutral cousin vodka, gin begins as a grain-based liquor, but it gains distinction with the infusion of juniper berries, an evergreen shrub used as medicine in times past to treat kidney and bladder diseases. Taken in large quantities, gin tends to cause issues with those organs but consumed as it should be, in small amounts, this is a refined spirit imbued with subtle herbal helpers. In fact, each distiller adds as many as a dozen flavor botanicals—ranging from orange peel to coriander, cassia, fennel, and the like—to give gin an aromatic nature that makes for a sublime cocktail base. Here, Kristen Bronson, a bartender at New York City gastropub The Spotted Pig, shares some of her favorite gin cocktails. Or, if you want to go a simpler route, there’s always the gimlet (gin, fresh lime juice, and sugar), a brilliant classic that few people recognize as a gin drink. Whichever mix satisfies you, try gin with its best friend, ice. Cheers.