Holy Smoke – Martini music and local Gin

I love Gin Wigmore. She’s a real talent and deserves to be played at any party where Martinis are being drunk. Holy Smoke, released in September 2009,  is a great debut album. Some really good tracks, a great overall feel, Gin’s interesting and strong voice and some pretty fine lyrics.

Gin’s backing band The Cardinals, used to work with Bryan Ryan Adams [tx Mark] and they provide a great beat and smooth melodies with some musical magic thrown in. For me the standout tracks are’ One More Look’ and ‘Dying Day’. Her work with Smashproof on their award-winning single ‘Brother’ caught my ear last year too and Holy Smoke shows that she is an artist with a future – great maturity and insight for someone under 25.

Is it fair to suggest that Gin Wigmore is Aotearoa’s answer to Amy Winehouse? I know they’re different in so many ways – like Gin doesn’t have a crack habit and is not really a jazz singer. But there’s something about the voice and the sensibility that I find makes an interesting comparison. I also think that Holy Smoke compares vary well with Alicia Keys 2009 effort The Element of Freedom.

I’ve just been listening to Holy Smoke while tasting a new local gin of another kind. Distiller James Graham left a comment on a previous post about another local gin. James wasn’t shy in coming forward with his own professional opinion of the gin he makes in Greytown:

If you would like to try a truly New Zealand distilled Gin, then may I suggest you try Lighthouse Gin, made in Greytown in the mighty Wairarapaand in our humble opinion worthy of comparison with the heavyweight gins such as Tanqueray 10.

As the person who’s hands are using doing the crafting I must declare a certain self interest, but hope that you might find the genuine high quality NZ gin you are looking for.

James [Local gin wins award for bottle…]

Well, I didn’t waste any time in taking James up on his offer. He delivered a bottle of Lighthouse a couple of days later and now I’m sampling it.

Ruru and possum contemplate Lighthouse and Lime

But I’m doing things a little differently this weekend. I had another message recently from AKJACK suggesting I try my gin straight, over ice with a squeeze of lime juice. Rob also chimed in suggesting Hendricks over ice with a slice of cucumber. Yep, seems I have to broaden my horizons a little. [Tanqueray]

So I’m giving the ice/lime shot a go and the Lighthouse is the perfect gin for this cooling summer aperitif.

Lighthouse is a hand-crafted gin and according to the tasting notes it has the zest of navel oranges and Yen Ben lemons included with the so-far secret local botanicals.

It’s also batch processed in a hand-made copper still, which means there can be slight variations and each blend will be different in subtle ways.

It’s smooth and the citrus note is right there when you open the bottle. I’m sure it’s a gin that will also make a pretty great Martini.

James tells me Lighthouse is available in good liquour and wine stores around the North Island, including some Glengary Cellars in Auckland. You can also place an order online with the Lighthouse Keepers.

Two local Gins this weekend, the perfect match.

One Response to Holy Smoke – Martini music and local Gin

  1. Mark S says:

    Unless it was intentionally left as a form of troll bait, I must admit that I feel compelled to leave a small correction.

    The Cardinals were formerly backing band for Ryan Adams, rather than Bryan Adams, two very very very different artists.

    Just consider this one of the Record Time boys still trying to guide your musical exploration 🙂

    Also, if you’re feeling like some down-n-dirty 70s funk, I’ve just discovered the re-released wonders of a lady called Betty Davis – well worth a listen if you can track it down.

    [EM: OMG, Mark, so sorry. An insult to Ryan I’m sure. My bad, I have corrected it in the post with acknowledgement. Thanks for this…my musical education continues]

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