OK, maybe we havent 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 youve 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:
Rendle's Original Gin
This gin starts its life as a London Dry, but it then infused with spiced bitters. Its pink color alludes to its 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 its 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 youve got a fresh springtime take on a classic.
Principe de los Apostoles Mate Gin
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.
Gin Mare Mediterranean Gin
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, its 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.
Stirks Small Batch Gin Oak Barrel Finished
Now this is a new direction for gin. Sure, gins have been aged in barrels before, and weve had plenty of them, but this is aged in Speyside Scotch whisky casks. Its 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.
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