Getting to grips with the Grim Reaper.
There are many ways to cross Death’s Door – tragic accident, fatal illness and even reckless misadventure included – but we discovered it at Crockett’s Bar; an old pub turned spirit house in one of Exeter’s hippest side-streets.
We were recommended to visit this small but charmingly styled bar by one of our locally based followers, Charlie Penny, who texted us about the place after a night out there with friends. It took a couple of weeks to follow up on the tip, but it was well worth the effort, and we’ll be doing a full review on the venue early in the New Year.
Not surprisingly I recognised a lot of the gins on the shelves – including St. Ives, Exeter and Cotswolds – but decided to follow the advice of our knowledgeable and friendly bartender who suggested the ominously titled American gin as “One of the staff’s favourites.”
I opted for a Fever Tree Indian Tonic and my double measure was duly served up with lots of mini-ice cubes and a garnish in a large goblet, to let the spirit communicate from the other side.
Well, I can report that you don’t need a Ouija board to discover what’s going on with a drink that uses as many different grains for its base spirit as botanicals for the infusion stage. Apparently hard red winter wheat, corn and malted barley all go into Death’s Door Vodka, before the distillers add a mix of juniper berries, including wild ones from Washington Island some seven miles off Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula, as well as coriander and fennel.
They describe Death’s Door as offering a full London Dry taste where the initial impact of the juniper is followed by the spicy coriander notes and then the smoothness of the fennel finish. Despite all that ice, the gin kept on giving to the bottom of my glass and I can believe the maker’s claim that it will work well in cocktails or a dry Martini.
Many visitors to Exeter opt to take one of the late night ‘Ghost Tours’, but I think I’d prefer making Crockett’s Bar a regular haunt for some more Death’s Door experiences.