This year belongs to gin.
Sure, the last few years have been about stretching the genre of whiskey, during which time we saw innovative takes on white, rye, and Scotch. Now, distillers are blowing open various subcategories of botanical-rich gin, from the recently resurrected navy-strength variety to plum-kissed Damson gin.
None so much as the new Greenhook Ginsmiths, though, based in Brooklyn. Most distilleries have taken on only one gin niche, but Greenhook is aiming at all of them.
Master distiller Ed Tiedge has just released the first offering, an American dry style that sings with herbal chamomile notes ($33; click here to buy). We love it in harmony with lighter bitter liqueurs, like Chartreuse (click here to see a recipe).
In the works is a gin made in the sloe style with Long Island beach plums, as well as a barrel-aged Old Tom gin, scheduled for release in the fall.
These releases will be a mere few of the many hyperspecialized gin offerings hitting the market. Navy-strength gin--a high-proof gin first created in the 19th century to help travelers survive journeys at sea--is getting newfound attention, thanks to the likes of New York Distilling Company and Leopold Spirits. And the sloe-like beach-plum liqueur has a cousin in Averell Damson Gin Liqueur, made from local Damson plums.
Start splitting botanical hairs.
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