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Qi on the North Shore

Qi White and North Shore no.6

Misuba, a stalwart of the Bibation Analysis Laboratory here at the Prince of Cups and a good friend, was recently in California. He made a point to stop at Ledger’s Liquors1 during that trip, and procure a couple bottles. He brought back bottles of North Shore Distiller’s Gin no.6 and St.George Spirits Qi White, neither of which we had not been able to find in Oregon2.

The North Shore Distiller’s Gin no.6 is a wonderful juniper and spice and citrus gin that it quite amazing. I taste lime peel, juniper, and pepper in it, and I’m sure

The Qi White liqueur is a silky sweet orange liqueur. None of the cognac notes that Cointreau or Grand Marnier carry are evident in the Qi. There is a hint of earthiness from the tea, and I imagine the silky sensation to be from the tannins, but the white tea buds do not seem to contribute a major flavor.

A fine gin, a fine orange liqueur. What else to mix but a Pegu?

In a shaker, pour over cracked ice
◇ 1½oz North Shore Distiller’s Gin no.6,
◇ ½oz Qi White liqueur,
◇ ½oz lime juice, and add
◇ a dash of Angostura bitters.
Shake, and strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a twist of lime peel.

The interaction of the North Shore and the Angostura bring the spice load of the gin to the fore. This is the heady vapor that one might imagine filled the nose of the spice speculator as he boarded a ship bearing his fortune docked in the harbor of Amsterdam. There is nothing held back in this, even the sweet citrus from the Qi and lime provide foundation for pepper and cubeb3. The cocktail is all notes sharpened, bright like the Chicago sound; it compels your attention.

1. Ledger’s Liquors is a great package store in Berkeley California. I generally make a point to stop there whenever I am in the East Bay and recommend it to everyone I know in that area.
2. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s rather byzantine administration of booze sales makes it difficult for retail to shelve many products. At least, in our observation, they do seem to make sure that Oregon-produced spirits are available for sale in the state, although whether this is due to some sort of expedience on their part or stubbornness on the distillery’s we cannot say.
3. And those seed peppers that are not genus Piper: cloves and grains of paradise and elaichi and galangal.