Gothamist thinks that gin has gotten short shrift in our vodka-obsessed city. Every bar we venture into these days features a myriad of vodkas from around the globe, sporting flavors ranging from ruby red grapefruit to coconut. And, NYC bartenders can't seem to come up with enough new-fangled cocktail options for vodka fans.

2005_01_food_junipero.jpgBut, not so for gin. Why not? The truth is that gin is simply juniper-flavored vodka. Gothamist is chagrined. We've discovered that it takes a deft, knowledgeable bartender to brave the creation of a new gin cocktail.

Tempo's Greg Fanslau is such a man. With experience that includes serving as head bartender at Tabla and cooking at the defunct, formerly hip hangout Moomba (Leo alert!), Fanslau understands the virtues of a complicated spirit. And, in that vein, he's particularly fond of Junipero, an award-winning dry gin from Anchor Distilling in San Francisco - the same folks behind Anchor Steam Beer.

When he joined Tempo, the elegant Italian hot spot in Park Slope, he decided that a gin specialty was a "must" for his cocktail menu. And, at 1:02pm one afternoon, riffing on the classic Gimlet, the Junipero 1:02 was born - a delightfully bright, citrusy concoction, spiked with sweet fizz from one of his favorite Italian dessert wines:

Junipero 1:02

2 oz. Junipero gin
1 1/2 oz. Moscato d'Asti wine
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup

Shake all four ingredients over ice. Strain and serve straight up in a Martini glass.

Try it at home - or have Greg make you one at Tempo's bar - or simply try a gin and tonic made with a top-shelf spirit like Plymouth or Hendrick's at some point. But, do give gin a chance. One proviso: Don't ever flavor it with coconut. We suggest leaving that to your vodka. (Strike that. Even vodka deserves better.)

Tempo Restaurant & Wine Bar
256 Fifth Ave. (btwn. Carroll Street & Garfield Place)
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 636-2020