Have I ever written about my best friend, Art? Actually, we have: he was one of the guys I name-checked in my infamous story about how porn kept my friends and us off the mean streets of Anacrime, and managing editor Nick Schou once profiled him when Art was seriously considering working in Colombia when he was in the fiberglass industry. I think Esquire should name Art the typical American man, a true working-class hero whom I've known since seventh grade, who never finished college yet is one of the smartest men I know, and who has joined me at closing down Memphis at the Santora more times than our hardy Mexican livers should have ever weathered.
Anyhoo, Art is a gin man, specifically Hendrick's and tonic. But I wanted to give him a gift for driving me to LAX late at night recently, so I decided to give him something special: a bottle of Death's Door Gin. It's an awesome American gin sustainably sourced from Washington Island in Wisconsin, a gorgeous piece of Midwestern sustainability on Lake Michigan. I think it's great, but I'm not a gin guy–what would Art think?
The drink starts strong, heavy on juniper berries, then escalates the tang with coriander. What's surprising is how it cools with fennel, which adds a settling sweetness that ensures non-gin drinker won't get the spirit's infamous aftertaste. I stay away from gin usually–it makes me stabby–but I love Death's Door neat, with maybe some ice to open it a bit more.
And Art? Loved it–we cracked it open before he took me to LAX, and we took a shot. Then he took another. And another. “Good shit,” he said, then we talked about porn. Working-class hero.