Credit: Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

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Washington loves gin. How much? So much that in 2011, the Gin Rickey was named the city’s “native cocktail” by the D.C. Council. And this year, after more than a century without a distillery, the District finally has a gin to call its own. Michael Lowe and John Uselton, co-founders of New Columbia Distillers on Fenwick Street NE, rolled out the first batches of Green Hat Gin in the fall. It’s local. But is it any good? Happily, the answer is yes. The balance of crispness and earthiness pairs well in pretty much whatever cocktail you’re drinking, gimlet, martini, or otherwise. There’s even hope for those who scorn clear liquors: Lowe and Uselton plan to begin distilling whiskey, though it won’t be available until it’s aged three to five years. Waiting might suck, but after a hundred years, a few more won’t be that tough.