Gray Whale gin could be the hardest working spirit in the business. As gins become more and more interesting to me I’ve begun to seek out the less straight forward botanical mixes. Thankfully the UK is having a craft gin explosion and on a recent trip to California, I discovered the US isn’t far behind. Gray Whale gin chose its flavors based on the migratory path of the gray whale. Aside from being so #verycalifornian the foraged ingredients made for a unique taste and that, after all, is what I am after. With foraged botanicals running from Baja all the way up to Mendocino, the effort for that flavor may be unmatched by any other craft distiller. The outrageously mesmerizing aquamarine bottle that has an enticing depth illusion adds to our allure while their simplistic, contemporary, labeling design sold us. We’re suckers for a well-branded spirit.
All Liquor Stuff
We’re big fans of things that are born from passion and experience. Bittermilk is such a product. The married founders, Joe and MariElena Raya, have been tweaking on their version of the perfect elixir for years. We love their line “The labor is in the bottle.” This makes everyone an ace bartender by just adding your favorite spirit. That’s something that come sin handy during the holidays. Your “host with the most” status gets dialed up with a Bittermilk secret behind the bar. Try the limited edition No.7 Yuletide Old Fashioned before the seasons all gone.
You know we love lemons. You know we love Italy. You know we love local food makers. All those hearts collided in Amsterdam of all places. While poking around De Hallen mesmerized at all the incredible, local, makers we found Bello Limoncello. The svelte, frosted bottle and clean, bold graphic triggered our pavlovian response to hipsterized old world classics. Considering my 89 year old uncles high octane version of citrus aperitif, this mustache adorned version gave me hope for a sipable post meal drink that augments instead of memory erases the completed meal that proceeds the ritual. Started by two Dutch buddies on a trip to Italy, it’s now quite the craze in Amsterdam. Their description is perfect so we’ll just cut and paste this perfect explanation. “A high-quality drink for the highly ambitious. Produced with Italian maschismo and Amsterdam bravoure.” Boss. Right? Their IG is pretty dope too. Check it. We’re hoping it makes it to the states soon but if you just can’t wait, like us, you can get it online.
My first brush with this was in a small, craft spirits shop near my house. My father has a penchant for ginger and rum so I thought gifting him a bottle would be thoughtful. The following weekend a text storm from my mother was requesting a case. Some for them. Some for the friends they had over for dinner. Apparently, after decoding iMessage, the four of them were really enjoying the Ready-to-Drink part of Gingeroo. My father later expressed to me, in a way only he can, that every adjective on the bottle was completely true to the product. He emphatically recited those adjectives using his self declared third rule of learning, repetition. Last week we got a little closer to the root of the Gingeroo when we were perusing the New Orleans Whole Foods. The Celebration Distillation, located on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, is the oldest premium rum distillery in the United States and the nice peeps at Gingeroo welcome pop-ins. With descriptors like refreshing, spicy and delicious, if the folks that make this nectar are as true to the words on their bottle, it’s worth a stop and a sip.