Good gin happened, that's what. Yes, there have been quality gins on the market for years, but it seems people are only now willing to embrace them. As a result, they're finding that today's gins - and the fancy cocktails that showcase gin - are smooth, refreshing, and delicious. Better still, they're hip to the idea of moderation: passing on that ill-advised nightcap can do wonders for your memories of a spirit. --Victor Ozols
It seems like only yesterday I was researching gin for my spirits column in the October, 2011 issue of BlackBook. As I called in various bottles to sample, I asked everybody I knew how they felt about it. There were a few enthusiasts, but the majority of respondents cast their eyes downward, quietly shook their heads, and murmured something to the effect of "I can't drink gin." It's as if the question caused them to relive their worst gin experience, choking down a warm shot of some astringent rotgut poured from a plastic bottle, eyes watering, salivary glands in overdrive. Even my celebrity gin-tasting partner, Patton Oswalt, said that he couldn't stand the stuff - though he later came around after a few choice cocktails at Stone Rose. But what a difference a few months makes. Yesterday a team from Nolet's Gin came to the new combined editorial offices of BlackBook, VIBE, and Uptown magazines to mix a few gin-based cocktails, and people couldn't have been more enthusiastic about the juniper spirit. What happened?