On a recent weekend in Amsterdam, I discovered my new favourite gin. It was my first trip to the city and, while I was well aware of all the beautiful houses on the canals and had been warned to watch out for the stop-for-nothing cyclists, nobody had thought to tip me off to the fantastic gin offerings. Odd, considering the Dutch are credited with inventing it in the first place – and that I’m a known fan of this juniper-based spirit.
Truth be told, I am an equal opportunity gin drinker and will try different ones all the time. And although I can’t claim to have sampled every single gin in Amsterdam in those three days, I did try my fair share (all in the name of journalism) and V2C (about €38 for 700ml) really stood out. I stumbled upon this relative newcomer (which debuted last year and won a silver award at this year’s International Wine & Spirit Competition) in the well-stocked bar at Canal Huis 58, the latest property in the Eleven portfolio.
I pulled off the Dutch dry gin’s red wax-covered stopper and took a whiff – it had a completely different, milder, dare I say friendlier, nose than London-style gins. From the first sip I picked up those notes of cardamom that I’d later read about on the company’s website. I would also read that they recommend mixing with tonic, but I personally have been drinking it neat or on ice.
I bought a bottle at duty free, but as V2C is not yet available in the US (it can be bought from stockists elsewhere in Europe, however), I must ration what I’ve got. Or think up an excuse to go back for more. And there are the Navy Strength, Orange, Oaked and Sloe versions to try, too.