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.
More Drink Stuff
Yeah, we know, you’ve started your detox. You feel horrible about 2020. You’ve finally admitted to your roomate, or spouse, that your pandemic excuse to imbibe undermined all your positive behavioral aspirations leaving you with bar bottles as low as your self-esteem. First off, buck up. You just made it through one of the the hardest years of your life. Coping mechanisms were expected, that is why they are called that. Now that you’ve coped you are ready for a new, vaccinated year of mindfulness and positive manifestation. Good for you but don’t go too far down the rabbit hole only to hiccup in late January and blow the whole thing. My dad used to say everything in moderation and in most cases that works well. I co-opted that idea making it my own, “drink like an Italian”. Which is to say, cold turkey isn’t your only way to mental and physical bliss. For now, we’ll play along. We’ve corralled our top 5 non-alcoholic (or almost alcohol free) substitutes to aid in your epic January crusade to stay off the hooch.
2. Kin we’ve not officially tried yet but their commitment to wellness is so deep that we couldn’t even find the “we are a non-alcoholic” description on their website without serious digging. Talk about manifestation. I guess they think their energy communicates their value prop. Ohh sooo modern millennial of them.
3. Monday Gin is our newest fav because we’ve been know to overstock gin like we were headed to an ark during a flood. The art deco labelling lets us feel quite Gatsby while we sip everything from G+T’s to negronis.
4. Haus was started by an old photographer friend of mine and is this lists only low-alcohol choice. Back to that moderation, a full ABV removal isn’t always necessary and this trio of flavors champions the apertif. Again, Drink like an Italian. With flavors like Spiced Cherry, Citrus Flower and Lemon Lavender, you’re bound to find a refreshing pre-dinner sip that gives you enough of what you crave without too much of what you are trying so hard to avoid.
5. Lyre is last on the list and newest to us. They have the most complete range of alternative spirits on our list. Cleverly they used known alcoholic vocabulary to bundle their products and direct us to what we’d like best. Things like the negroni set or the boulevardier set are trifectors substituting each of those critical ingredients to produce a non-alcoholic version of your 2020, mid-week, home, happy-hour ritual. The line up includes a Dry London Spirit, an American Malt, a White Cane Spirit , a Dark Cane Spirit, a Spiced Cane Spirit, a Dry and Rosso Aperitif, a Coffee Liqueur, an Amaretti, an Italian Orange, and finally an Orange Sec. Not surprising, their dry Jan twelve pack is sold out. Regardless if you are an abstainer or a moderator this January, start with the above list for a leg up in your new endeavors.
Our favorite place to start is linked below. That should get you on your way to turning that bad bar into a good czar of mindfulness. Happy sipping.
We love chai at FTHQ. When Dona Chai’s concentrate version popped up in our Brooklyn backyard we were, needless to say, first in line. They steep this stuff in small batches (unwritten law here in the BK) keeping an Hindu deities eye on quality. Our favorite thing is the recipes they provide for non-tea use. Talk about a multi-tasker.
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.