For the most part, we’re happy with a cool craft Gin & Tonic or a classy craft gin martini. But from time to time, we get the urge for something different, a little creativity to tickle our tongues. As fans of the ginnovation going on at craft distilleries around the world, we keep a close eye on the latest products with the potential to change markets. Here are 7 of the latest juniper creations that we’ve come across.
The key ingredient in tonic water - the reason the drink was invented in the first place - is quinine, a naturally occurring alkaloid found in the bark of the cinchona tree. During the time of the British Empire in India, the compound was found to treat malaria and was eventually mixed with gin to counter the chemical’s bitter taste. 1897 Quinine Gin brings the gin and quinine together in one bottle, using cinchona bark as a botanical. 1897 was the year scientists figured out that mosquitos spread malaria and to help with the ongoing fight against the dangerous illness that claims hundreds of thousands of lives every year, half of the gin’s profits will be going to Malaria No More UK. Now that’s a cause to drink to!
Unicorn Tears Gin Liqueur
Trendy retail site Firebox has ordered a concoction to celebrate the sadness (or utter happiness?) of the mythical creature, the unicorn. The site says that it mixes the “distinctive flavours of gin with the sweetness of a liqueur” and includes pieces of silver, acting as the tears of the one-horned horse. Firebox guides those unaffected by the slaying of unicorns with these tasting notes:
Nose: Fragrant juniper rises from the glass alongside Curaçao orange and crisp lemon. Bruised mint leaves and fresh lemongrass brings herby freshness to the nose.
Palate: Big bundles of candied orange peels, flying saucer sweeties and a hint of maple syrup. Touches of pine-y juniper berries and cardamom introduce elements of spices.
Finish: Sweet, juicy orange freshness goes on and on throughout the finish.
Gin with Asparagus
Portobello Road Gin has made a splash with consumers and with various spirits judges at international competitions. To build on its still-growing popularity, the brand will release a limited edition gin made with asparagus! The asparagus batch, which will be released on October 21st, is only 1,000 bottles made from 10kg of asparagus spears according to drinks magazine Imbibe.
BTW Tonic Water
Declaring itself the “UK’s first craft Tonic Water”, BTW was conceived in Bermondsey by two gin-loving barmen who were not impressed with most commercial tonics that “obscure” the “diversity of gin” with their taste. They set out to create a tonic that would emphasise the gin and have done just that with a tonic made from “only natural quinine flavours”. The tonic comes fully-prepared as well as in syrup form for those wishing to mix it with carbonated water and gin themselves.
The St. Arnold Brewing Company in Houston, Texas has put itself on the map by barrel-aging its beer. But the brewery didn’t use just any barrel to age its latest incarnation of refined I.P.A., Bishop’s Barrel 11. It used gin barrels from West Virginia distillery, Smooth Ambler Spirits. According to the brewery, the juniper notes left in the barrel from Smooth Ambler’s aged gin perfectly complement the hoppy I.P.A.
With barrel-aged gin a new craze that distillers are using to produce some ginnovative tastes as well as to differentiate themselves in an increasingly busy market, the scientists behind American distillery Lost Spirits have created a device that claims to age alcohol so that it tastes like it has been sitting in the barrel for years in a mere 24 hours. The device called Thea One is an “aging reactor” that the firm has used to transform its standard rum into one that has the taste and chemical makeup of a 20-year old rum. The device has already been pre-sold to dozens of US distilleries and could overturn a centuries-old model of waiting 2 to 25 years for a whisky to age, not to mention the 3 to 6 months that gin distillers are taking to age their spirits.