Some of us like a glass of wine or a draft beer after a long day at work, while others appreciate a delicious gin martini or a refreshing gin and tonic. And small-batch and artisanal gins are the latest treat. Besides often creating a superior and more unique product, small-batch and craft gins are not industrially massed-produced. Making them better for the environment and better for the imbiber.
Years ago, gin was considered the purview of the British. Gin actually originated in the Netherlands, and it’s possible to find some fantastic Dutch gins–like Boomsma Jonge Genever. In these early days, juniper was the primary ingredient used to develop flavor in the spirit. Fast forward to today and American distilleries are leading the charge with their more forward botanical laden recipes and producing some truly spectacular American gins.
American Small Batch & Craft Gins
1. Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill Gin is without a doubt the most unique gin on our short list of the best American craft gins. In addition to juniper, raw honey is added just before bottling. The honey imparts a sweetness that produces a beautiful balance and introduces unique floral qualities that vary with season and blossom. This delicate gin is truly a must-try. It works well in mixed drinks, but it shines when enjoyed on the rocks.
2. Bluecoat Barrel Finished Gin is another unique gin on our list. This truly artisanal gin is distilled in a custom, hand-hammered copper pot still and aged in American oak barrels for a minimum of three months. The aging process builds on the juniper and citrus flavors bringing out a rounder gin with hints of caramel, vanilla, and toffee. Bluecoat is a great gin to drink on its own–the non-barrel-aged Bluecoat is perfect for martinis.
3. Aviation Gin has earned a top place among American gins. The company has embraced the shift away from the prominence of juniper in the flavor profile by introducing more botanicals. Aviation features a heady mix of both floral and savory notes that include lavender, cardamom, coriander, anise, and sarsaparilla for a unique flavor experience.
4. Brooklyn Gin is a craft spirit made in New York boasting the addition of fresh citrus peels and hand-cracked juniper in place of frozen. The gin is fresh, complex, and flavorful and works well on the rocks or in your favorite mixed drink. The company is turning heads with some recent awards, including a double gold medal at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and a double gold medal at the 2015 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition. Check out the website for some tasty cocktail recipes including a Brooklyn 75.
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Image via Brooklyn Gin