Tastings

A Selection of American Gins

With all the small-batch distilling going on, you can bet that there are some exemplary gins out on the market. Treat your weekend guests to a tasting. HOBNOB gives you the deets:

[1] River Rose Gin is handmade in Le Claire, Iowa, by MR DISTILLING with fresh grains from local farms. The full-bodied blend of botanicals dates back to a recipe from the late 1800s. Along with juniper, orange, grapefruit and lemon dance with lavender, rose petals and locally grown cucumbers. Quite nice to sip on its own. $30. mrdistilling.com

[2] Breuckelen Glorious Gin Double-distilled in the borough it’s named for, this gin draws its hand-infused flavor from hints of juniper, lemon, rosemary, ginger and grapefruit, all atop a base of organic, upstate-grown wheat. About $32. brkdistilling.com

[3] Aviation American Gin With each batch of this Pacific Northwest-produced spirit is a blend of lavender, cardamom, sarsaparilla, orange peel, anise seed and more. The name “Aviation” is aspirational, named for the classic cocktail that inspired its co-creator’s exploration into the world of gin. About $25. aviationgin.com

[4] Ransom Spirits Small’s Gin In this gin from Oregon is a combination of 19th-century technique with modern organically sourced ingredients for a particularly fragrant result. Its gin is infused with juniper, lemon, coriander, angelica, caraway and raspberry, among other botanicals. About $34. ransomspirits.com

[5] Caledonia Spirit’s Barr Hill Gin earned bragging rights as the winner of the 2013 Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Competition, and with good reason. The liquor comes from a honey farm at the Vermont-Quebec border, and honey serves as the base of its taste. Its flavor profile is delightful, and quite atypical. About $38.
caledoniaspirits.com

[6] FEW American Gin This small-batch distillery in Evanston, Illinois starts with white whiskey and blends it with eleven botanicals. Whiffs of lemon peel and vanilla dominate. Humorously, the name Few comes from Prohibition evangelist and resident of Evanston, Frances Elizabeth Willard. Take that, prohibition! About $40. fewspirits.com

[7] In the Weeds, our suggested cocktail (seen top, left), comes from Dean Gardiner, Head Bartender at Ocean House, a gorgeous sprawling resort on the coast of Rhode Island. This resort is a classic summer getaway surrounded by natural, unspoiled beauty, with many activities to pursue. The hotel will schedule any type of custom experience for you be it crabbing, a trip to a farmers’ market and cooking class with your purchases, wine tastings, or a cocktail seminar with Dean Gardiner. oceanhouseri.com

See the complete menu and strategies for hosting weekend guests in style: 06 Three Day Party