It's always exciting to taste a new gin.

Pomp & Whimsy, a new spirit brand, first appeared in the marketplace with ‘Pomp & Whimsy Gin Liqueur’ a gin based, floral cordial. It is a pleasing addition to anything sparkling and a unique cocktail modifier. This year, Pomp & Whimsy Gin was released and serves as an 80-proof homage to classic English afternoon sipping sessions of centuries past.

Illustration by Frank Caiafa

Dr. Nicola Nice, the brand founder, sociologist, and brand strategist, became enamored with the growing cocktail boom in New York City of the 2000s and wanted to ensure a place for women as it grew. With the full history of gin behind her, she set out to create both the liqueur and the gin as “a tribute to a time when the spirit was better known as Mother Gin, and the women distillers, writers and cocktail makers who have made it what it is today.” Dr. Nice is also an historian who has a full library of women authored home-entertainment books dating back to 1824. These books, written by homemakers, contain plenty of historical recipes and include all types of home advice from food preservation to medicines, to perfumes and baking, and of course, cocktails. Everything from punches and toddies to the classic and more familiar concoctions of pre-prohibition imbibing are included though they have mostly flown under the radar. Please do take a dive into this engaging page – you won’t be disappointed.

As for the gin, there is plenty of dried orange and black pepper on the nose. A medium to full mouthfeel lends an interesting dose of coriander, lemon peel and a touch of nutmeg on the finish. I would not hesitate to include it in a Rickey or with tonic as well as in an afternoon Martini or variant (please see below).

A quick note on the illustration. Though the artwork on the label is quite sparse as far as these things go, the actual bottle of Pomp &Whimsy Gin has a black and white illustration of herbs, spices and flowers, visible through the spirit from the front of the bottle. Several attempts at capturing this were made but it just muddied the final result, so I went with what worked. These illustrations are created on the Apple Notes application with an iPad Pro.


Recipe adapted from “The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book” (Penguin)

What You’ll Need:
2 oz. Pomp & Whimsy Gin
1 oz. Ten-Year-Old Tawny Port Wine
2 dashes Orange Bitters

How To Make It:
Add all ingredients to mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist.

The Union League Club, one of the city’s oldest high-society social clubs, still thrives today. This cocktail needed very little tinkering. I did adapt it to lean on the base spirit, as the original includes equal portions of Old Tom gin and Ruby port. That version is a bit on the sweeter side and may be just right for some. This rendition is certainly more austere and is set to please the modern palate. Pomp & Whimsy Gin pairs nicely with the Tawny Port and the orange oils brighten the whole thing up. In this form, it’s a simple keeper that may be due for a comeback.

Frank Caiafa is an author, writer, tasting judge, and food and beverage director/consultant who has worked with some of the world’s top bars and restaurants including New York’s Lexington Hotel and Waldorf Astoria. Frank is the author of The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, a modern update of the classic cocktail books of the Waldorf from the 1930s. His writing and recipes have been published in numerous publications including The New York Times, Wine Enthusiast, and Time Out New York.