Chasing the Californian Sun

by James Stevenson

While covering the annual WSWA convention a few years ago we expected to see some great products as well as some unique offerings, and that’s exactly what happened when we came across Gray Whale Gin. Tasting our way around the rooms, when we finally came across this wonderful gin and knew we were onto something awesome. Before we even had an opportunity to taste the product, the charismatic team from California drew us in and educated us on the story of the gin, and once that sweet nectar touched our lips we were hooked.

The name is derived from the origins of the botanicals foraged along the migratory path of the majestic Gray Whale, and include unique ingredients, such as kombu (kelp) and almonds. I love that Marsh and Jan, the founders of the company, personally forage the kombu along the Pacific coastline. If you’re an admirer of these beautiful creatures, you would love that the sale of every bottle goes towards creating a healthy habitat for them; thanks to Oceana.

I don’t know if this has always been happening and I just haven’t noticed, but while visiting both Mexico and Ireland on recent trips, I noticed the bartenders juicing fresh apples for cocktails. The difference was crazy compared to mixing cocktails with regular bottled apple juice, as it added a rich complexity to the drink, along with a great texture. I don’t have a juicer at home, but instead, I found a bottle of unfiltered apple juice and found it gave the same delicious result. Combined with the acidity of fresh lemon juice, and a touch of mint syrup, my palate was electric.

Recipe:

  • 2 ounces Gray Whale Gin
  • 1 ounce Unfiltered Apple Juice
  • ¾ ounce Lemon Juice
  • ½ ounce Mint Syrup
  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients, except bitters, in a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Shake to chill and combine ingredients
  3. Strain into a cocktail glass over crushed ice
  4. Float bitters over the top
  5. Garnish & Enjoy!

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