There’s a pretty consistent through line of American exceptionalism running through the craft spirits movement, which puts gin in a unique place. How does one put a star-spangled stamp on a thoroughly British spirit? Several distilleries have tried barrel aging. One went the route of distilling from apples. Others have taken an arguably more sensible route, distinguishing their bottles with botanicals from our side of the pond. Oppidan mostly follows this route, and the result is a damn fine argument.
Oppidan’s American Botanical Gin uses the London Dry style as a jumping-off point, tweaking the typical recipe to create a unique product. The citrus of choice is pink grapefruit, rather than bitter orange; instead of juniper berries, the flora of note here are hibiscus, chamomile and elderflower. This variation promises unexpected flavors — ginger, cinnamon, cardamom — that are nonetheless balanced like a familiar London Dry. It opens the floor for a widening range of experimentation in gin — safe to say, it’s refreshing in more ways than one.
Origin: Wheeling, Illinois
Tasting Notes: hibiscus, cinnamon, grapefruit peel, ginger, chamomile, elderflower