OK, maybe we haven’t had ideal Spring weather yet, but that just makes us look for our favorite Spring drinks all the more. Gin is near the top of that list. If you’ve been in the stores recently, you likely have noticed a flood of new gins. Here is a highlight of a few of the most interesting new entries to this booming category:
This gin starts it’s life as a London Dry, but it then infused with spiced bitters. It’s pink color alludes to it’s floral bouquet but there is more to this gem of a gin than that. Citrus, juniper and cardamom are all here as well. Star anise gives a notable licorice note to the finish. A wonderful gin on it’s own, but it also works surprisingly well as an old fashioned. Just muddle an orange slice in some simple syrup, add the gin and some citrus bitters to taste, and you’ve got a fresh springtime take on a classic.
Yerba Mate comes to Gin. Apostoles honors one of Argentina’s most important beverages, mate, with this bright, minty, delightful gin featuring yerba mate as one of it’s short list of botanicals. Juniper berries, coriander seeds, peppermint, eucalyptus, and pink grapefruit round out the botanicals, all steeped separately before distillation in 200L copper pot stills. The resulting mash up of the savory herb and slightly grassy character of the mate, mint, bright citrus, and drying notes of the coriander and juniper is quite enjoyable straight up and slightly chilled. A slice of orange and a splash of tonic are also great accompaniments, best if used sparingly.
Finally after years of requests we can finally bring you Gin Mare, the bestselling gin in Spain, which drinks more gin than just about any country in the world. So why is this gin worth talking about? As usual, it’s all in the botanicals. Besides the standard juniper, cardamom, citrus and so on it is infused with basil, thyme, rosemary and Arbequina olives. This definitely makes for a more savory and herbaceous gin, but not so much that it gets pigeonholed into a select few cocktails. Try it in a Pegu Club or a Last Word.
Now this is a new direction for gin. Sure, gins have been aged in barrels before, and we’ve had plenty of them, but this is aged in Speyside Scotch whisky casks. It’s made by the same folks who are bottling those excellent “ “Exclusive Malts” whiskies. The oak character this imparts is noticeably whisky oak, with vanilla and caramel and a full, creamy, whisky-like body. The finish even lingers with sweet cereal grains and toffee like a Scotch. A whisky and gin hybrid that lives up to the quality standards of both.
Check out the Whiskey Hotline for updates on new whiskey, tastings, sales and more!