When I returned from the UK in Dec 2012 I was ecstatic to find out that a premium, small-batch gin was being produced locally in Victoria, BC. In 2008 the Victoria Spirits distillers set out to interpret gin in a more modern way, combining their love of Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray gin with their collective backgrounds in science, bartending and in the culinary world to produce a beautiful, distinct, new “modern” gin. Arguably they were the first in Canada to bring a gin with such an innovative flavor profile to the market, paving the way for the local gin market to expand creatively.
The team at Odd Society Spirits takes pride in ingenuity and originality, and their gin is certainly created with this in mind. If there ever was a gin that could tackle unsuspecting imbibers, it is Wallflower Gin. Like the unexpected burst of happy, joyful indulgence of running through a sprinkler, Wallflower delivers a stunning, well-balanced flavour experience that is uniquely subtle and delightful.
I can’t help but be partial to Sipsmith London Dry Gin – it was the gin that started my love for gin in the first place. Paralleling my developing gin crush, on a bigger scale, Sipsmith was one of the major contributors to the start of the UK artisan, small batch gin craze when they opened 2009, being the first copper pot distillery to start up in London since 1820. Bashing through legislation difficulties and liquor laws, they started up with a successful business model that revolves around the quality of their spirit and sharing their love and pride in their own hand made spirits, which has subsequently led into a flood of small batch, hand-crafted gins entering the market.
The cure for a difficult week is surely a vacation at the lake – a weekend away with pure sunshine, and rotation between crisp, refreshing cool lake dips and sunny, warm wind. What would you give for that feeling at the end of a horrendous day, or in the middle of a cold downpour or the short days of winter? Enter Okanagan Spirits Gin.
When I lived abroad, one of the things I missed most was being outside in forests and by oceans on a regular basis. We take these things for granted here in BC, but fortunately, Phillips Brewery’s Fermentorium has seemingly found a way to bottle this awesomeness in their Stump Gin.
In honor of Father’s Day I wanted to throw together a list of local gins that you might want to share with your Dad, your friends who may be Dads, or just the Dad-like people in your life. If the Dad(s) in your life are anything like mine, gin is not necessarily the top of his list – but here are a few local(ish) suggestions that any non-gin-loving Dad may truly enjoy.
I feel incredibly lucky to have access to this gin. A locally produced gin (Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island), from scratch, using local suppliers for the wheat and classic botanicals, Ampersand is an organic gin that is absolutely gorgeous both on its own and in mixed drinks. It is possibly the most classic yet versatile gin I have tasted.
I’ve just been fortunate enough to be on an amazing trip to Cuba that spanned from Havana, east to Baracoa, and back to Havana roughly via the south coast. Sharing my trip was a charming Irish woman who without fail, regardless of how remote of a location we ended up in for the night, asked for a gin and tonic. I’d gauge her success rate at about 15%.
Why then turn to Cuba for lessons on gin? I’ll let you be the judge. Here are a few lessons that I thought I’d pass on:
Oranges are such bright, happy fruits – I know some people hate them, but they are one of my favorites, and seem to be everywhere right now. I’ve been tasting gins recently (as I do!) and became aware with all of the oranges hanging about that I’ve only been identifying citrus strength and nature in my notes as a part of a flavor profile rather than by specific fruit, and could use some home schooling in the citrus peel department.
There are so many citrus options in gins today: lemon, bergamot, grapefruit, tangerine, orange, bitter orange, seville orange and lime are the ones I’ve seen listed, but there are likely others as well. Oranges seemed like a logical place to start.