St. Agrestis Inferno Bitter, house-made Torino style vermouth & Greenhook Ginsmiths American Dry Gin
Dark reddish amber pour. Breathing in a mash of delicious herbal goodness (a touch of Ricola), orange peels, and a little juniper berry. Holy crap this is GOOD! My mouth is tingling. All the scents are there. Sweet and bitter herbal (this time not Ricola) mashup, sweet sipping vermouth, singed orange peels and juniper berry. And a small comforting burn that is not harsh but refreshing. This magical mixture packs a punch of joy and celebration. Has me craving a hefty slice of fresh baked right out of the oven gingerbread.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Don’t even think about it!
So glad to have a friend point this Negroni out to me because somehow this is one of the few bottled cocktails I have missed. Once again it’s a #shoplocal (which I ❤️) Brooklyn born concoction and their dream team is formed of brothers Louie and Matt Catizone and their gin-perienced friend, Steven DeAngelo (Greenhook Ginsmiths). There’s only one regret I have about picking up this little bottle…I should have picked up the “Negroni Fountain” which is their 1.75L Bag in a box. Perfect for a party pop up!
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Golden Moon Distillery
Golden Moon Gin
Golden, CO (A little Golden city trivia, this is where Jolly Ranchers were born!)
Founder, CEO, and master distiller: Stephen Gould
Nice clear pour. Nose tingling juniper berries are followed by mint, lavender, coriander, and a breeze of wild flowers. This baby is very fragrant. In fact when I was binge watching with my S.O. this past week and he was sipping away (I had my fave glass of cava), I was so impressed with how the scents flew through the room. Ooh…my mouth is vibrating in a good way. Fabulous tastes of juniper, a few pine needles, mint, lavender, fresh ground coriander, rosemary, thyme, and anise at the back of my tongue along with a smidge of candy cane. Do we see a holiday theme going lately? It’s explosions of all the flavors at once. I recommend to chill well and serve neat. Don’t mess it up by covering it up in a cocktail.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: As would be said on “Wayne’s World”: HURL!
This bottle was quite a surprise gift, and it blew past all expectations. As y’all know, I love when people work with what they have local, and Golden Moon sources as much as they can in Colorado, and they also give back to the earth post distilling by recycling the waste back into compost. Kind of like their own little “Circle of Life”. Also if you want some cocktail cues from the master (Stephen Gould) check out his videos on “The Distiller’s Basement”.
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Old Fashioned with elderflower gin
Mixmasters/founders: Julian Mohamed, Roxane Mollicchi, and Darren Grenia
Hazy cucumber juice green on the rocks. Mmmm smelling fresh cucumbers, delicate flowers, salt, and gin. I can already sense what is coming before it even hits my lips. Whoooo! Cucumber and elderflower gin that has a bit of a burn down your throat at first but give it a second sip and smoooooth and sweet which is definitely from cane sugar and an aftertaste of light pine. What better drink to have while I’m quarantined due to flying to see my mom. It’s refreshing, cool, elegant, lovely, and dare I say classy.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: brings out the sweetness and cucumber
So I was questioning a cocktail in a bottle. I’ve tested some that seemed not quite right, but yes I got sucked in by the label, and it was at a shop I trust. Very glad I went with my gut, and purchased not just one but two and now having a twang of regret that I didn’t grab two more. Follow the instructions on the cap as it says, “shake in bottle” and then pour over some rocks. Had I not been the one pouring this cocktail, I would have thought it was all fresh made. From what I’m reading, restaurants and venues have been snapping them up. Definitely would ease up on time waiting in a line at a concert or play (well, when we get to go back to those again). Also seeing that Wandering Barman creates their own bitters, syrups, and infusions and hold them to a high quality. “Socialite” definitely hits high quality in my book. Oh, just noticing on the back label that 1% of profits is donated to alcohol addiction support groups. Always nice to see people giving back!
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Wölffer Estate Vineyard
Distilled from their famous Rosé wine with estate grown hand picked juniper berries and 5 other botanicals
Sagaponack, Hamptons, NY
Winemaker/Distiller: Roman Roth
Very light pink glow. Pine and juniper berries hit your nose first and then it smells like grappa. First try is on the rocks. It’s a delicate sip, but has a kick that comes back. There’s a feel of a peppermint, but not the taste. Again it’s piney and juniper berries with a slight licorice feel at the end. And of all things, do I taste grape? Now, here goes it neat. There’s sage, pine, some floral bits and that grappa-like thing going on that is tingling my lips.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: turns me into a flame blowing dragon. Try at your own risk.
Not only does it look like a bottle of romance, you’ll know it is once it hits your lips. IWANT design gets the credit for this label melding what went into making this delightful gin. Check out their graceful projects. Quite a nice partnership with other Wölffer wines and cider. Also giving a little nod to my absolute favorite pink…you had to know this was inevitable: The Psychedelic Furs – Pretty in Pink
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