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Gin: A Guide to Botanical Bliss

Spring is still in season giving way to spirit-based cocktails bursting with new flavors. Most spring flavors lend themselves to cocktails made with clear spirits and of all of the spirits categories, only one truly celebrates what the Earth gives us. This spirit has ancient origins and is the base ingredient to a number of delicious drinks. We are talking about Gin and here’s why it should be on your radar!

The History of Gin

As a casual definition, Gin is a spirit that carries a prominent flavor of Juniper and is made more complex by being flavored with additional fruits, roots, seeds, spices and more. The additional agricultural products added to further flavor the spirit are known as botanicals—another reason to enjoy this spirit as we transition from spring to summer! The name Gin comes from the Dutch word for Juniper. Juniper has a long history of beneficial health properties and has been used in medicine since the 13th century. As Juniper found itself being added to alcohol, the quality of the medicine only increased! There is a history of Juniper-flavored spirits in Europe, but Gin has truly risen above the rest. Long before Vodka, Silver Rum or Blanco Tequila ever entered the conversation, the world drank Gin for centuries. Depending on the botanical makeup of the Gin, flavors can range from fruity or tart to spicy or floral.

The Rise of Gin

Gin is a staple in a number of classic cocktails, such as the Bee’s Knees, the French 75, the Corpse Reviver #2 and the Last Word. While Vodka took over America’s clear spirit drinking habits in the 1960s, Gin has made a resurgence in the past decade or so. More and more craft producers are making some truly memorable Gins while some of the most established names in Gin are as popular as ever.

Types of Gin

In Georgia, we have Atlanta Hard Cider Gin, Procera, Bertha’s Revenge and Las Californias. Throughout Tennessee we have a world of Gin including The Botanist and Ghost Rail in Chattanooga, Rivi and Highclere in Nashville and Gray Whale and Nikka Coffey in Knoxville. In Colorado, we have Greenall’s and Scapegrace. Other brands that are represented throughout the network include Monkey 47 and Beefeater found in Georgia, Chattanooga and Nashville. Aviation Gin and Empress can be found in Georgia, Chattanooga, Memphis, Knoxville and Nashville. Purity is available in Georgia, Colorado, Nashville and Memphis. Uncle Val’s can be found in Knoxville and Colorado. While this list is by no means complete for the Gins we are fortunate enough to represent, these are just some ideas for you the next time you are getting ready to indulge in spring and summer cocktails.

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