As innovative distillers challenge tradition, gin is evolving in exciting and unexpected ways. Whether hailing from surprising origins or possessing a less-Juniper-forward flavor profile, today’s gins lend themselves to experimentation with creative cocktails.
Last fall, Washington Post spirits writer M. Carrie Allan sampled gins from five continents and recognized styles and flavors of gin that “stretch its very definition.” She quoted Stu Gregor, co-founder of Four Pillars Gin in Australia’s Yarra Valley: “One of the things that makes gin so exciting now is that 10, 20 years ago, there was a pretty singular style of gin, and if you didn’t like that style, then you weren’t loving gin. … Now it’s like, well, if you don’t like that gin, try this one!”
New gins feature a range of citrus flavors, sometimes reflecting their provenance. (Gin magazine mentions the use of yuzu from East Asia; kumquats; and different types of limes – finger limes from Australia, bergamot from the Mediterranean and gondoraj limes from India.)
Savory gins are making their mark, as well. St. Louis Gin Bar owner Natasha Bahrami, also known as The Gin Girl, cites an example to Vinepair. Made in Italy from four types of tomatoes, the gin Moletto “has a savory botanical profile with crisp pepper notes. On the note you get spaghetti sauce! Then on the palate, it’s crisp with salinity.”
Craft gin in the 2020s may be barrel-aged. Or smoked. It may even be pink. Consumers can easily find an expression that challenges their ideas about the gin experience, as Allan experienced. It’s an exciting time for both distillers and drinkers.
Want to create a new gin? Maybe one with timeless appeal for a broad audience, or an innovative expression for gin lovers. As the largest maker of distilled gin in the United States, serving brands at all price points, MGP can help.
The company offers an assortment of gins that, in addition to juniper, highlight botanical profiles of cucumber, citrus berry, lemon-lime, and orange. These small batch products are primarily meant to be mixed and blended with MGP’s heritage distilled gins so that a craft distiller can customize their own brand. Or, they may choose from more than 30 botanicals and oils available in MGP’s botanicals workshop to help create something special.