11 American Gins to Try
Around the Fourth of July, it’s tradition to toast to Independence Day with a glass of something made in the United States. Lately, it’s become easier than ever to make that drink a delicious cocktail spiked with American-made gin.
Although London dry gins will never go out of style, the growing ranks of “New American” or “New Western” gins have made strong strides. In addition to the required juniper, which defines gin, these new American gins may be flavored with a wider array of botanicals—often nods to regional fruit, citrus or floral ingredients, as well as herbs and spices.
Amid this innovation, we can also report that barrel-aged gins are increasingly exciting. This new-to-us style of gin (in truth, it’s a very old technique, with historical roots back to when barrels were the primary means of transporting spirits), reclaims barrels that previously held whiskey or wine. Wine-lovers in particular may want to finagle a bottle of St. George’s Dry Rye “Reposado”—a term usually reserved for aged Tequila.
In another sign of the times: Local Wine and Spirits, a Chicago-based producer and distributor, is petitioning the government to include “American Dry” as a bona fide gin category.
“It will be the tip of the spear in moving towards greater appellation in our craft spirits,” LWS says. “We can envision the day when regional gins like Sonoma Coast Gin, Rocky Mountain Gin, Southwest Chaparral Gin all exist and create a tapestry of style that is as unique as the people who live in various regions of our country.” (Want to sign their petition?)
That kind of independent spirit is what the Fourth of July is all about—and we’ll gladly drink to that.