Today I’m Drinking: Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.”

            Julius J. Epstein (spoken by Humphrey Bogart)


Today I am drinking Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin.  Spring is in the air and it’s time to bring out your favorite warm weather cocktails.  Not that it’s warm in Seattle in April. In fact, I think the saying here goes, “April showers bring May showers…”  Even so, we have to start sometime.  If we waited to drink in the warmth from the sun around here, we may all die of thirst.

Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin is a traditional style, navy strength, London Dry Gin.  Established in 1863, Hayman’s is part of the illustrious Haus Alpenz family of imports.  The Royal Dock is bottled at British Navy Strength, 100 proof by weight equating to 57% alcohol by volume.

Every style of Hayman’s is produced in a grand 450 liter Cristian Carl still, which the family has affectionately named Marjorie after the family matriarch.  To start each small batch, an age-old blend of ten botanicals is weighed out and loaded into the still, along with neutral spirits (~96.5% abv), and left to steep for 24 hours.  Once the alcohol has absorbed the flavors and aromatics of the botanicals, the batch is ready for distillation.  During distillation, every flavor compound extracted from these botanicals comes off the still at a different time and temperature, thus the distillation requires keen observation by the master distiller. Once the distillation is complete fresh water is added to bring the distillate down to a generous 57% alcohol.

The recipe consists of ten botanicals: Juniper, coriander, lemon peel, orange peel, angelica root, cinnamon, cassia bark, orris root, licorice, and nutmeg.  Though some of these flavors may not immediately remind you of gin, they come together to create a world-class flavor profile.

Hayman’s will do well in any classic gin cocktail. Today, I’m enjoying an all-time favorite; the gin and tonic.  Preparing a gin and tonic couldn’t be simpler.  Fill your tumbler or Collins glass with ice, squeeze fresh lime over the ice, add One Part Gin & Two Parts Tonic, stir and enjoy.

I am working with a couple different brands of tonic to see which one best suits the Royal Dock.  Nothing is wrong with the standard Canada Dry or Seagram’s Tonic Water. Though, the cocktail renaissance has created several craft tonics and true quinine mixers.

I started with Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic.  The relatively light flavors and body of the Fever Tree Tonic really allows the gin shine.  That subtle quinine flavor brings out the dry juniper, minerality, and light floral notes.  After hardly enough sips I’m moving on to the Fentiman’s Tonic Water.  The Fentiman’s has a little more weight to it and a nice complex flavor profile.  The moment it hit my tongue I was blown away by how different these two cocktails are.  This time it’s the citrus in the Hayman’s Royal Dock that is brought to the forefront.  The perfect mélange of the citrus trifecta dancing in the glass puts this cocktail on top, I’ll be stocking up on Fentamin’s for the coming seasons.

In conclusion, the Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin definitely belongs on the top shelf of any respectable bar or liquor cabinet.  Whether you’re after a big martini, a gimlet, or any classic gin cocktail this spirit will not disappoint.

-The Daily Drinker

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The 12 Days of Speakeasy: Day 12

“Ho, ho, the mistletoe, hung where you can see. Somebody waits for you, kiss her once for me.”
With the hot sun safely tucked below the northern hemisphere, Christmas time is the hour of the Ginger. Only now will your favorite redhead begin shedding her habitual layers of SPF. Like most Gingers one might find under the mistletoe, this holiday cocktail is a little tart and a slightly sweet. So pucker up buttercup, or someone else may slide in and steal your Ginger Kiss. Cheers!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:

Ginger Kiss

6 ounces Speakeasy vodka
The juice of 1 lemon
A 1 inch piece of ginger root, thinly sliced
½ ounce simple syrup
Splash of water – fizzy or flat

Add all of the ingredients into a large shaker with ice.  Shake it like a Polaroid picture. Strain and serve up. Makes 2 doses of mistletoe kiss potion  (serves 2.)


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The 12 Days of Speakeasy: Day 11

When was the last time you ordered a Sea Breeze? It’s a delicious cocktail with a terrible name. Something about it conjures up images of blue haired ladies, lounging in Boca Raton, ordering one too many Sea Breezes from that extremely patient cabana boy they’ve been flirting with all day. It’s a bit awkward. which is the same way I feel when I order one, kind of awkward.

Here’s a holiday twist on the original. Hopefully this namesake evokes images of Santa’s sleight  ride instead of his retirement plans.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:

Holiday Breeze

2 ounces Speakeasy vodka

3 ounces fresh grapefruit juice

1 1/2 ounces pomegranate juice

Place ice in a rocks glass. Add all of the ingredients and stir. Serves one.


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The 12 Days of Speakeasy: Day 10

There are only a few days left until Christmas. Take a break from the craziness and savor a drink before total chaos ensues.

Speakeasy on the Rocks

As much or as little ice as you prefer (shown: one jumbo king cube)

3 ounces of Speakeasy vodka

Place the ice in a rocks glass. Pour in Speakeasy and enjoy.

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The 12 Days of Speakeasy: Day 9

It’s the end of the world as we know it? According to the Mayans it might be.  If 12/21/12 really is our last day on earth, we’ll probably need a few of these. Waking up hung over sure beats not waking up at all. Here’s to making it to Saturday brunch.

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:


2 ounces Speakeasy vodka

1 ounce Cointreau

The juice of ½ a lime

Add all of the ingredients into shaker full of ice. Shake vigorously and pour. Makes 2 shots. Clink, drink, repeat.

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The 12 Days of Speakeasy: Day 8

The holiday season is filled with parties. Inevitably, at any gathering there will be friends or family with limited cocktail knowledge. Urge them to take advantage of the open bar and order this simple concoction. It’s sure to please even the novice cocktail connoisseur.

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:


2 ounces Speakeasy vodka 
1 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce 100% cranberry juice 
The juice of 1/2 lime
Add of the ingredients into a shaker full of ice and shake vigorously. Strain and serve up. Garnish with a citrus peel.

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The 12 Days of Speakeasy: Day 7

Barware is one of my favorite things. Anytime I’m in a housewares store, I inevitably linger the longest in this section. There’s something very satisfying about having the ideal glass for every drink on any occasion.

This summer I was lucky enough to inherit a set of solid silver cups (with matching ice bucket.) Visually, they are a unique addition to my barware collection. Functionally, they actually insulate your cocktail and keep it cool. Win, win. Drinking hasn’t been this awesome since Mad Men.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:

Moscow Mule

2 ounces Speakeasy vodka

2 1/2 ounces Ginger Beer

The juice of 1/2 a lime

Add lime juice and vodka to a shaker full of ice and stir. Pour mixture into a copper mug* and serve over ice. Top up with ginger beer. Garnish with a few mint leaves and a slice of lime. Serves one.

*The Moscow Mule is traditionally served in a copper mug. If you don’t have one on hand, we suggest a Collins glass.

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The 12 Days of Speakeasy: Day 6

Whether you’re in the ski lodge after shredding the gnar or your name is simply,”the Dude,” this cozy comfort cocktail will take the edge off the cold outside.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:

White Russian

2 ounces Speakeasy Vodka

1 ounce coffee liqueur

1 ounce light cream

Add all ingredients to a shaker full of ice. Shake vigorously. Pour over ice. Serves one.

Try it with Eggnog!

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The 12 Days of Speakeasy: Day 5

Being a grown up is awesome. No bedtime, the option of having dessert before dinner, getting to saying things like “beer me”. Adult activities really are the best activities. The only downside is those damn bills. To keep them from piling up you most likely work Monday through Friday, and by the time five o’clock rolls around you could probably use a drink. It’s Monday, so make it a strong one. We both know you’ve earned it.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:

Vodka Gibson Martini

3 ounces Speakeasy vodka

Cocktail onions to garnish

Pour Speakeasy vodka into a shaker full of ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass.  Garnish with picked onions and enjoy. Serves one.

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The 12 Days of Speakeasy: Day 4

Sunday Funday… It’s an epic day filled with football, gambling, and chicken wings. But before you double down on Saturday’s nonsense, a little hair of the dog might be in order. If the Super Mimosa isn’t your rally style, or you drank all the bubbly yesterday, our Bloody Mary recipe will get you back to fine form in no time.  Make mom proud, there’s (probably) a full serving of vegetables in every glass!

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:

Bloody Buddy

4 ounces Speakeasy vodka

6 ounces tomato juice

1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Sriracha HOT chili sauce

1/2 teaspoon Beaver brand Extra Hot Horseradish

A dash Crystal Louisiana style hot sauce

A dash Tabasco sauce

1 lime wedge

1 lemon wedge

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish to your liking. We suggest a celery stick, a lime wedge, and various pickled vegetables (thanks Linds and Curtis!)

Fill a shaker with ice. Pour in vodka and tomato juice.  Add remaining ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour and garnish. Serves two.

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