Late last year, right around the time of the launch of spenser magazine, St. George Spirits released not one but three unique expressions of gin. It’s hard to believe that we’re already one year into this venture of ours and we couldn’t let a second holiday season pass by without offering up our favorite cocktail recipes for these three botanical spirits.
Each drink that follows is a twist on a classic cocktail, chosen to highlight the different distillations of gin sold nationally by St. George. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
St. George Terroir Gin and the Emerald Bay Cocktail (Green label in photo above)
The Terroir Gin is an ode to the aromas of California’s coastal forests. It has an intense earthy, woodsy nose and flavor derived from Douglas fir, California bay laurel, and California coastal sage—complemented by bright, citrusy top notes. We think it pairs perfectly with the herbal sweetness in green Charteuse, which is why we are using it in our updated version of the classic Bijou cocktail. The Bijou, which means jewel in French, matches gin with the Chartreuse and sweet vermouth. In our Emerald Bay, we replace the sweet vermouth with bittersweet Kina l'Avion d'Or and add in a few dashes of Scrappy’s Celery Bitters to create a well balanced drink for serious lovers of serious cocktails.
1 ½ oz. Terroir Gin ½ oz. Green Chartreuse ½ oz. Kina l'Avion d'Or 2-3 dashes Scrappy’s Celery Bitters
1. Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add all of the ingredients to the glass and stir thoroughly to chill and combine. Strain into a small rocks glass filled with one or two large ice cubes.
St. George Botanivore Gin and the Fog Horn Cocktail (Blue label in photo above)
Botanivore Gin earned its name because it’s loaded with 19 different botanical ingredients. This gin is deliciously herbaceous and bright, and, of the three from St. George, is the most versatile as an addition to any gin cocktail. For this reason, we thought it would be fun to find a tropical twist for this spirit. Something that can cut through the grey of winter. Now, the Fog Cutter, upon which this drink is based, is generally not thought of as a gin drink. But there is no reason it can’t be. Using the dense Pacific fog that gently glides under the Golden Gate bridge as inspiration for our updated beverage, we upped the amount of gin in the traditional recipe, used Northern California rum, “brandy” and orgeat and switched from the traditional orange juice to pineapple to make a tiki drink with sophisticated flavors that we think you will love.
1 oz. Botanivore Gin (plus more for float) 1 oz. Charbay Tahitian Vanilla Bean Rum ½ oz. Aqua Perfecta Basil Eau De Vie 1 ¼ oz. lemon juice ¾ oz. pineapple juice ½ oz. Small Hand Foods Orgeat
1. Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with a generous amount of ice. Shake thoroughly, until well chilled. Strain into a tiki mug filled with shaved ice. Float an additional ½ oz. Botanivore on top of the drink and garnish with a wedge of fresh pineapple. Serve with a straw.
St. George Dry Rye Gin and the Wry Martini (Red label in photo above)
Dry Rye Gin has twice as much juniper in its recipe as either of the other two St. George gins, plus a base of pot-distilled rye that provides structure and spice. Warm notes of pepper and caraway give the Dry Rye an intriguing depth of flavor and the rye provides a sweet maltiness reminiscent of a Dutch genever. While St. George suggests trying this gin in cocktails that call for rye, we thought the bombastic amount of juniper called out for a martini. Being throwback cocktail fanatics, we love that the dictionary definition of “wry” includes not just “using dry humor” but also “(of a person’s face or features) twisted into an expression of disgust, disappointment, or annoyance” because that is how we feel when people go overboard with their jokes about ditching the vermouth in what they call a dry martini. Call it as that is people: gin, up. But if you want a martini, allow us to present you with our house recipe.
2 oz. Dry Rye Gin ½ oz. Luli Moscato Chinato 1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6
1. Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add all of the ingredients to the glass and stir thoroughly to chill and combine. Strain into a small coupe and garnish with a twist of lemon.
Photo of the three gins together by Hilary Kline; Three photos of the different cocktails by Meredith Paige