DC’s cocktail scene continues to gain momentum, and there’s no better indicator than the arrival of our first craft distillery in recent history. New Columbia Distillers has been working hard to concoct a unique spirit, and just a few a months ago they made their first batch of Green Hat Gin. Mens Life DC met up with welcoming co-founder John Uselton to tour the distillery and give the spirit a taste.
For the folks who aren’t aware – gin is a neutral spirit flavored primarily with juniper berries. One of the key factors that differentiates one gin from another is the mix of botanicals used to flavor the alcohol. That leaves a lot of room to experiment, and that’s exactly what the crew at New Columbia Distillers did. They started off with over 40 botanicals and narrowed it down to just over 10 to get the precise flavor they wanted.
Now, for the important part: As John handed us a taste of chilled Green Hat and it passed by my nose, I smelled a calming mix of fresh herbs and spices. Nice. If this were a cologne and it was socially acceptable to smell like liquor all day (damn you society!), I might consider drenching myself in this thing; fine, maybe I’d be smart about it.
Moving on – as I braced myself for the taste of straight gin, I got another surprise. It was like taking that first sip of Coke after you’ve been drinking Diet Coke for 10 years. Whoa. That’s what real sugar tastes like? I kid you not folks, this is what Gin should taste like. It was light, crisp, flavorful, and very smooth with little to no burn on the way down.
While Green Hat has several cocktails on their website, I encourage you to try this chilled or on the rocks to truly appreciate the fragrance and unique taste. And don’t worry, as simple as that sounds, you can do it in style: Get some perfect cube ice trays, toss them in a mixing glass, pour in some Green Hat, stir, and strain into a chilled glass .
So support a local distillery, and the next time you order a gin and tonic or our very own Rickey, ask for some Green Hat. And if they don’t have it, ask why.