What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 10
Pomp & Whimsy Gin Liqueur
Think of this as gin 2.0
Pomp & Whimsy is actually a gin liqueur. It’s gin that’s been distilled, then twice-infused with a botanical liqueur, then re-distilled with 16 botanicals, including juniper, coriander, grapefruit, orange, lychee, cucumber and jasmine pearls.
It was created by sociologist Dr. Nicola Nice in 2017, and was inspired by Victorian times. Nice was perplexed that there was no spirit that appealed to women in the same way that men naturally gravitated toward flights of whiskey, scotch or bourbon when they got together to unwind. When she learned that gin was sold in barrels during Victorian times and often blended with sugar or other flavorings by retailers to create gin cordials, she ran with that idea.
Pomp & Whimsy ($34) comes in a stout, bourbon-like bottle. Its taste, as I found when I received a sample bottle, is profoundly of lychees, bitter orange, grapefruit, lime, and honeysuckle flowers. Juniper, which often lends a medicinal quality that turns off some folks, is present, but just barely. There’s a sweet, almost syrupy or viscous quality, too.
You can easily use it in your favorite gin & tonic recipe. Or pour it into a glass with a splash of sparkling wine. Or sip it straight, chilled in small glasses.
Cheers: Come summer, when we’re all able to gather more easily and safely once again, this is the carefree libation you want to pour when catching up with your best gal pals.
Sonoma’s Obsidian Wine Co. invites you “down the rabbit hole.”
There’s no need to be scared or worried, though. Just prime your taste buds for a delicious adventure.
“Down the Rabbit Hole” is the name the winery has bestowed upon its speakeasy-like lab, where its team plays around with different varietals, styles or blends that are a little outside the box.
I had a chance to try one of the fruits of those experiments when I was sent a sample of the 2020 Obsidian Wine Co. Pear Blanc ($16) — an inspired marriage of Bartlett pears from Lake County with Obsidian’s Sauvignon Blanc.
After being picked in fall 2020, the resulting pear juice was fermented in steel drums for 21 days. The Sauvignon Blanc, meantime, was fermented in stainless steel. A few months later, the two were blended together in equal parts, with sugar added to produce carbonation.
There’s no cork in this 500ml bottle, but a soda cap that signals fun and carefree. Gold in color, the Pear Blanc is lightly fizzy and drier than expected. It’s quite refreshing, with the subtle but distinctive taste of juicy, autumn Bartletts and a backbone of tropical fruit.
Cheers: The Pear Blanc is available from the winery. But wait, there’s more — with the “Down the Rabbit Hole” adventure, 2 p.m. May 6, June 3, and July 1. It offers the chance to taste the Pear Blanc, plus other singular new creations, at the winery in a special area separate from the main tasting room. Price is $50 per person.