This a premium California gin that is based only on six botanicals, which is less
than a lot of gins on the market and progress in six years has been substantial.
The smartly packaged gin is now number five on the market in the premium gin
division, and the smooth taste coming out of their distillery in Sonoma, California
is a product of hard work and foresight.
Even better, they give 1% of their gross receipts to Marine Biology research,
focusing on legislation to remove the pervasive netting that happens on the USA
coastlines affecting whales who get caught up in it. Since gin is all about the
botanicals, we have to start with the juniper berries that can be found on trees in
the Big Sur area of the rugged California coast line. The limes are grown in
Temecula and are hand zested before distillation and the fir is wild foraged in
Sonoma with a cool pine coastal quality that gives the gin its light and fresh appeal.
The mint is harvested at a family farm in Santa Cruz, as is the sea kelp from the
fabulous Mendocino coastline. This particular kelp is of the Japanese kombu
variety, giving the gin the earthy umami flavor profile. The all-important almonds
are harvested in Capay Valley and add the element of cram to the overall
mix of the 43% Alc/Vol drink.
We did meet the owners of the gin at a tasting in Hermosa Beach last week, and
the charismatic couple of Marsh and Jan Mokhtari certainly put it all on the
line to get the gin up and running in a very competitive market. Marsh was raised
in Newcastle, England, a tough and gritty city with a rich history. He has
completely lost his Geordie accent enabling him to become a television host
covering food and adventures for the Food Network, National Geographic and the
Travel Channel. Jan is the creative director and marketing whiz embracing
the challenge of launching a new spirit in a very competitive market.
Recipe of choice.
2 parts Gray Whale Gin
½ part Elderflower Liqueur
2 parts Grapefruit Juice
Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and a lavender sprig
Combine gin, grapefruit juice and liqueur into shaker w/ice and shake.
Fine strain into a glass over ice and top w/soda water and add garnish.