Paul Feig is on a crusade to entice drinkers to rediscover beauty of gin

Paul Feig for Artingstall's Gin, photo provided by Artingstall's Gin
Paul Feig for Artingstall's Gin, photo provided by Artingstall's Gin /

Looking at the bar shelf, does one liquor bottle stand out? For Paul Feig, that idea is more than just the visual of the beautifully appointed glass bottle of Artingstall’s Gin. In some ways, Feig wants that cocktail culture to be more than just a plastic cup filled with a liquid that elicits a warm, tingling feeling. For him, the whole experience from start to finish is meant to be savored. From a few laughs to creating memories, those three fingers of gin hold endless possibilities.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Paul Feig. During our conversation about Artingstall’s Gin, he spoke poignantly about his “gin crusade.” While he is not grabbing a saber and heading out to battle, his mission is clear. It is time to bury those preconceived notions about gin. If you haven’t opened a bottle of his gin, why not?

As Feig shared, like himself, some people’s first foray into the gin experience might have been sneaking a sip from dad’s bottle that featured a British iconic image on the bottle. Since “people might have heard about gin,” they might have grabbed that “bottle from the basement or on a parent’s shelf.” But, people “were not prepared for that first sip.” All those botanicals might have been too abrasive.

Feig’s theory is that all those “piney” notes that hit with a force to the uninitiated  palate might have turned people away. While that first sip held one option, “there are all varitities of gin.” Drinkers need to discover a gin that appeals to their flavor preferences.

In a very simple analogy, Feig describes gin like “It’s almost like dropping a big bag of tea into a bottle of vodka and flavoring it.” Since the basis of vodka and gin are similar, it is a lovely way to think about the connection to the two spirits. Just like a tea bag steeps flavor into the water, the botanicals steep flavor into the gin.

Why does Paul Feig call Artingstall’s Gin the gateway gin for vodka drinkers?

While trying to break people’s pre-conceived notions about gin, Feig looked to create his gin as a way to introduce non-gin drinkers, or scarred gin drinkers back to the bottle. He calls his Artingstall’s Gin as the “gateway gin for the vodka drinkers.”

Although vodka is almost flavorless, Feig looks to build flavors similar to a chef builds layers in a well composed dish. From a little juniper to a hint of pepper to a variety of other flavor notes, it is about the combinations that create a fully nuanced sip. Each flavor is highlighted in a way that makes the drinker want to discover more.

In many ways, the Artingstall’s Gin is about the simple pleasures of being an adult. This beverage is not the liquor slammed in a quick burst or chugged with total disregard. It is encourages the pageantry, invites the discussion and welcomes the opportunity that the glass holds.

Since the gin’s flavor profile appeals to the vodka drinker as well as the gin drinker, the cocktail tends to work well in a variety of cocktails. As Feig shared, this “gin has been formulated to play well with others.” He can only count a handful of times where the gin didn’t work in a cocktail combination.

As seen in some of the specialty cocktails that Feig has created, this gin takes on unexpected pairings well. For example, the Feigtini combines sake with the gin. In many ways, this gin lends itself to ultimate creativity.

How does Paul Feig recommend enjoying Artingstall’s Gin?

While Feig shared that a gin and soda is a delightful “skinny cocktail,” he recommends that the first time opening a bottle of Artingstall’s Gin begin with a classic martini. While that classic cocktail might seem simple, the art of the cocktail culture can be enjoyed from start to finish.

From the first pour from the cut glass bottle to the final sip from that martini glass, the cocktail is about creating an experience. Whether people appreciate term bespoke to just lean towards stepping into appreciating the finer things, this gin is about celebrating the adult moments in life.

As Feig describes the gin martini, it is clear that there is attention to craft. From the freshly opened bottle of vermouth (“not one that has been sitting on the shelf for a year”) to the perfectly chilled glass, no detail is overlooked. Feig recommends a “generous lemon peel” that allows the essential oils to accentuate the citrus notes. As the “freezing cold martini” that has been “carefully strained” into the glass awaits the first sip, it is a moment to savor.

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While Paul Feig might have mastered the art of the cocktail culture and has developed a passion for an expertly brilliant gin, he encourages all drinkers to put a bottle of Artingstall’s Gin behind the bar. As the light reflects off the cut glass, it serves as a remind to pour a glass and appreciate the flavor that gin bestows.