Dues ex Machina (PLUS Most Wanted Gin Review)

October 2, 2010 (Day 245) — Dues ex Machina

Anyone who has ever paid even the slightest bit of attention to the world of culinary and cocktail arts is familiar with the term “locavore.” For the uninitiated, it’s used to describe a person or restaurant or bar that only uses locally-produced ingredients. Surprisingly, it’s easier to make that happen when you’re located around a metropolitan area with easy access to local’s gardens and farmers markets. While more rural areas — such as Dodge City — do have these things, you usually have to take the time to raise the animals/plants themselves to be a true locavore.

How some people insist on seeing my hometown...

However, aside from simply going local, the same theory can be applied to state-based producers. I’m a big fan of Boulevard Brewery (Kansas City, MO), Freestate Brewing Company (Lawrence, KS), 23rd Street Brewery (Lawrence, KS), Blind Tiger Brewery (Topeka, KS), and Tallgrass Brewing Company (Manhattan, KS) just to name a few.

However, these are all craft breweries. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact I think it’s great that Kansas has so many high-quality microbreweries! One thing we’ve always lacked, though, was a distillery. Until a couple years ago, that is.

High Plains Distilled Spirits is a tiny little distilling operations in eastern Kansas — the first in Kansas since prohibition, according to the owners. Seth Fox, in Atchison, produces a full line of liquors including vodka, rum, gin and whiskey. His efforts to bring the booze business back to the plains has already been chronicled in greater detailed in articles by the New York Times, Fox TV in KC (no link), and the Pitch. The Pitch also reviewed Most Wanted Gin and provided an original cocktail.

SOURCE: blogs.pitch.com

As Jonathan noted in his review, there is a bit of a bite on the back of the gin. Tasted neat, the Most Wanted reminds me more of a straight gin such as New Amsterdam (sweeter), as opposed to a London Dry Gin such as Tanqueray. The heat on the end could lead to some issues if using Most Wanted in classic drinks such as the Gimlet or Martini, where the smoothness of the gin is tantamount to a great or crappy cocktail.

So, following Jonathan’s example and creating something that plays off the heat as well, I present another Cocktails, 365 original.

Dues ex Machina

2 oz Most Wanted gin

6 dashes Worcestershire sauce

2 dashes Tabasco sauce

Juice 1/2 lime

Clamato juice to top

Rim a chilled pint glass rimmed with Cajun spice and filled with ice. Pour in your gin, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and Clamato. Stir to mix well. Garnish with a carrot stick.

Fascinating mix of flavors. Similar to a Ceasar or Bloody Mary, the Dues ex Machina substitutes the vodka for the sweeter gin, adding a beautiful bright aftertastes after all the smokiness of the mixers. Lovely and spicy too. A good example of how you can take a seeming detriment (a hot after taste), and turn it into something completely amazing.

Plus, you’re supporting local, which I’m always a massive fan of.


— Mark

(NOTE: Most Wanted is currently only available in Kansas and Missouri).


  1. David Adams says:

    Re Most Wanted Gin only available in KS and MO, I just saw some at the local Friar Tuck here in Peoria, IL. Thanks for the review!


  1. […] while back, I reviewed Most Wanted Gin. At the time, I mentioned that it was decent enough, but there was a very harsh […]

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