I could happily submerge myself into a world of gin. Even though South Africa has several handfuls of incredibly unique and quality craft gins (you can read about my favourite craft gins here), and I always try to support local where possible, I like to peek at what else is out there in the world. I got acquainted recently with one such international jewel, Brooklyn Gin, on a week-day afternoon in the middle of Cape Town – and it’s a gin-ship I’ll treasure for life.
Confirming their status as gin aficionados and adding to their extraordinary and fabulous gin collection, Truman & Orange has recently launched a super-premium gin: Brooklyn Gin.
It is handcrafted one small batch at a time, using traditional artisan spirit-making methods and without compromises (press release).
We were invited to meet and greet Brooklyn Gin’s global brand ambassador and co-owner, Damon Boelte, at the super suave chill spot, The Moveable Feast, at the top of Kloof.
If I was expecting a CEO in a tailored suit with a briefcase full of presentation notes, I was in the wrong place. Damon was the epitome of cool, and just as authentic as his gin. Dressed in a cowboy hat, sunglasses, and the most genuine, infectious smile, he was so happy to see all of us arriving in drips and drabs to spend the afternoon in his company.
As one does on a Wednesday afternoon, we bee-lined to the bar to try out the new Brooklyn Gin, served classically with cucumber ribbons and lemon wedges.
Brooklyn Gin, and why I’m a fan
At first sip, I was in love. Brooklyn gin is classic, cool and confident. The delicate balance of juniper berries to other botanicals is perfect, with just enough citrus zestiness to be beautifully refreshing, without the overbearing juniper bitterness. It felt light and carefree and nostalgically reminded me of long summer’s days at the beach. The pale-blue glass bottle is classy and sleek, but bold in it’s announcement of a new arrival.
We sat ourselves down on the patio in the sun and Damon casually draped himself at the front, chatting to us about the brand, the back-story, their ethos and methodology and answering any questions from the floor whilst sipping his gin appreciatively, in true Brooklyn style.
Now available in 35 states and 25 countries, this new American style gin is slowly but surely creeping into the hearts and taste-buds of gin aficionado’s world wide.
Because authenticity and quality are two of the cornerstones of Brooklyn Gin, all juniper berries are hand-cracked. All fresh citrus are peeled and dried manually. Fresh, hand-cut herbs. One small batch distilled at a time. All bottles filled, corked and labelled by hand. Literally, hours and hours of labour and love goes into every bottle. Because, as Damon explained, Brooklyn Gin is all about experiences; a reflection of the creative spirit and feel-good energy of this New York suburb where the gin is distilled and bottled. It is the essence of super-premium.
Other botanicals include, but are not limited to, lavender, coriander and angelica, with the addition of orris root and cacao nibs to round off all the harsh edges of the botanicals, presenting you with a smooth, laid-back gin. Having said that, it’s deliciously layered and complex, with just the right amount of dainty herbaceous floral notes to leave you with a lingering full-mouth feel. Definitely good enough to drink neat, because of its silkiness and clean flavours.
But, in true New York fashion, Brooklyn Gin makes a mean Martini, and Damon shared their favourite recipe with us, simply called a Brooklyn Gin Martini:
74ml Brooklyn Gin
22ml dry vermouth
1 dash orange bitters
Stir over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a twist of lemon, or, for a Brooklyn variation, a fresh kumquat.
- Double Gold – 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
- Double Gold – 2015 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition
- 91 Points – 2015 Ultimate Spirits Challenge
After chats, Damon invited us to linger a bit longer and to submerse ourselves into this experience even deeper by pairing our g&t’s with authentic New York style hot dogs, served with all the frills and sides. The gorgeously soft, slightly salty pretzel rolls with the rich sausages and sauces complimented the refreshing citrus notes of Brooklyn Gin perfectly. If this is what Brooklyn is all about, then take me there tomorrow.
Happy. So happy that Damon brought a little bit of vibrant Brooklyn to our Cape Town shores with this beautiful gin. We all know how much I love a good back-story, and how much I value personal passions and pursuits. This is a story that speaks of the pursuit for quality and authenticity. Cheers to that, and pop to The Moveable Feast for a taste of this gorgeous drink!
Brooklyn Gin is available at high-end liquor outlets across South Africa and retails for R799 per bottle.
The Little Hedonist has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, I do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, menu changes, opening times, and contact details.
Disclaimer: I was invited to this event in my personal capacity. There was no expectation for platform coverage in the form of a blog, or social media posts. This is my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.