Swank joints where they’re pouring the sip of the season

by LESLIE BRENNER | photographs by MANNY RODRIGUEZ

Crystalline, rarefied, botanically munificent: Gin is having a renaissance. There it is shimmering on cubes with Indian tonic in a tall, slender highball. Here it is glistening pure and clear in a fragile martini stem, naked save its twist. It expresses aromas not just of juniper, but of coriander, orange peel, star anise, bergamot or pine. Why have we ever bothered to sip anything else? Sure, we love our Hendrick’s, but there is an amazing array of exciting gins to discover. The Botanist Islay Dry Gin from Scotland. Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin from the Netherlands. St. George Terroir from California. Leopold’s American Small Batch Gin from Colorado. Happily, three new Dallas gin joints offer ideal settings for summer sipping.

At Dish Preston Hollow, you can sample 15 gins or choose an enticing gin cocktail from the impressive reserve drinks list. Consider the Green Goddess, an emerald number in which Hendrick’s communes with cilantro and cucumber, or a Ruby Gimlet starring No. 3 London Dry Gin, ruby Port, lime and more. Want to splurge? Ask for the $65 House Seventy-Five—a deluxe service for two in which flutes of Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin mingled with citrus peel, yuzu juice and elderflower get elegant fizz from a half-bottle of Veuve Clicquot Demi-Sec. (Lovely how taste and texture change as you top off
the cocktail with Champagne.)

In Deep Ellum, XXVII Antique is the intimate bar at chef David Anthony Temple’s Twenty Seven (a new tasting-menu-only restaurant, open
Thursday through Saturday). Here, barman Moses Guidry makes a fabulous Ford’s Cocktail—Ford’s Gin with Carpano Antiqua vermouth, Benedictine
and bitters — or a citrusy Loo Collins, featuring Waterloo Gin. Rhubarb bitters take a seasonal bow in a London High Rise.

And downtown, a new spot called The Mitchell celebrates gin in all its clarity, spotlighting a remarkable list of 28. Sip them solo, in a classic martini (the house pour is four parts gin to one part vermouth, garnished with a twist) or choose one of 14 gin and tonics. I’m partial to the Monkey 47, a German gin fizzed up with Q Tonic and garnished with lime peel. But I can’t resist the Botanist, with those wild Islay botanicals — chamomile and wild thyme and elderflowers. Head bartender Patrick Gorman pairs it with Fentimans Tonic Water and finishes it, simply, with a twist.

Summertime, we welcome you with open arms.

Dish Preston Hollow, 8611Hillcrest Ave.,
214-363-3474, dish-dallas.com

XXVII Antique at
Twenty Seven, 2901 ElmSt., 972-803-3265,
twentysevendallas.com

TheMitchell, 1404 Main St.,
214-230-1404, themitchelldallas.com