We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
On Nov. 2, New Columbia Distillers will release its most unusual seasonal spirit yet: a gin-aquavit hybrid aged in apple brandy barrels.
The Ginavit, as it’s being called, combines the flavors of the traditional wintertime Scandinavian aperitif—dill, caraway, star anise—with some of Green Hat Gin’s botanicals, including juniper, orange peel, and lemon peel.
The liquor is then aged in apple brandy barrels from Laird & Company in New Jersey. Two barrels aged for four months and another barrel aged for two months. The contents will then be blended with some unaged Ginavit for the final product. Co-founder John Uselton says the barrel-aging rounds out the botanicals and gives it a little bit of crisp apple and vanilla flavors.
“We feel like we’ve made something unlike any other gin we’ve ever had,” Uselton says. “There are some other barrel-aged gins out there, but they’re not really stretching the whole botanical idea as far as we are on this one.” He explains that when you barrel-age something, you want to use a spirit with some heft, which the aquavit provides.
New Columbia Distillers will only produce about 90 cases (1,080 bottles) of Ginavit, making it far more rare than its spring/summer gin, of which there were about 400 cases. The spirit will be released first at the distillery on Nov. 2 and then made available at select retailers and bars soon after. Although the exact price hasn’t been worked out yet, it will be a little more than the staple Green Hat Gin—around $40.
If you want a bottle, best to act fast. Uselton says when he and co-founder Michael Lowe released the spring/summer bottle, they sold 25 cases at the distillery in one day.
Photo gif via New Columbia Distillers