Since our thirsty food & drink editor’s cup runneth over, here’s a space for her to spill the tea on all of the greatest, tastiest, and trendiest sips. There's really only one thing you'll find here ... NO BAD DRINKS!
My Current Drink Crush: Gray Whale Gin
Why This Drink Matters: Gin is having a major moment in the spirits world right now. It's my go-to spirit once the weather warms up, and there's truly no cocktail more refreshing than a classic gin and tonic or a perfectly balanced Negroni. You've likely heard of the major players and big names in the gin game — Beefeater, Tanqueray, Gordon's — most of which are distilled in the U.K.
But American-distilled gin is in right now in a big way — largely due to a certain celebrity's now-ubiquitous Aviation gin — and some seriously delicious, interesting craft gins are coming from the U.S.
This brings us to my newest drink crush: Gray Whale Gin. Distilled in California by Golden State Distillery, Gray Whale takes us on a wild, windows-down kind of ride down the Pacific Coastline, as each bottle is made with a blend of six sustainably sourced California botanicals: juniper, lime, fir tree, almonds, mint, and sea kelp.
The best part: This small-batch gin is consciously crafted. Gray Whale supports the conservation of our oceans through Oceana, and they have also partnered with 1% for the Planet. One percent of all Gray Whale sales go to environmental causes.
Now that's a gin you can feel good about sipping this summer.
How We Met: I'll admit it. I was crushing on Gray Whale Gin long before ever trying the spirit, just after one look at that gorgeous blue bottle. I was already a fan of some other small-batch craft gins distilled in the U.S., but I was particularly intrigued by this gin's unconventional botanicals as well as the brand's incredibly rad, eco-friendly mission.
From the first time I opened the bottle, I knew Gray Whale was special. This gin has a soft juniper-and-pine aroma that intensifies as you pour it out. Topped with a generous splash of tonic water (I like Fever Tree), a squeeze of lime, and a couple of big rocks, my Gray Whale and tonic was crisp, refreshing, and smooth. This instantly became my new go-to spirit for the summer ahead.
Tasting Notes: Gray Whale Gin has a definite juniper aroma, but the ingredient I tasted most prominently was mint. Almonds smooth out the other woodsy botanicals, and there is a slightly salty, minerally aftertaste that I love. If you like gins that are more herbaceous than dry, this one is for you.
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