4 Gins to celebrate World Gin Day with

Las Californias Gin, the latest spirit developed by the Casa Lumbre Innovation Team led by Master Distiller Iván Saldaña. Image courtesy Las Californias
Las Californias Gin, the latest spirit developed by the Casa Lumbre Innovation Team led by Master Distiller Iván Saldaña. Image courtesy Las Californias /

We recently celebrated World Whisky Day, but now it’s time for gin to have the spotlight. World Gin Day is June 11th. This distilled spirit is enjoyed around the world. Gin is made from grain, like most liquor, and gets its distinct flavor from juniper berries. We are highlighting some of the more interesting gins that have come up on our radar recently. However you enjoy your gin, whether in a gin and tonic, a martini, or maybe on the rocks, we hope you’ll celebrate World Gin Day!

Barr Hill Gin
Barr Hill Gin is part of Caledonia Spirits and is produced in Montpelier, Vermont. The company, which started in 2011, was founded by beekeeper Todd Hardie and head distiller Ryan Christiansen (Ryan is still part of the company and is the Head Distiller, while Todd is no longer part of the business, but still offers his support). The gin is distilled in specially built botanical extraction stills and finished with raw honey that according to a press email is, “sourced within a 250-mile radius of the distillery.” This gin only has two botanicals: juniper and honey, which gives the gin a slight sweetness.

Barr Hill Gin won the “Best Spirit of the Year” at the 2020 USA Spirits Ratings, scoring a perfect 100 points. This was the first spirit brand to earn a perfect score in the three years of the awards. On their website, they note that they are “America’s Most Awarded Gin.”

They also make Barr Hill Reserve Tom Cat Gin and Barr Hill Vodka. All three spirits can be purchased on the brand’s website, online, or at select liquor stores throughout the country. Barr Hill raw honey, barware and apparel are all available to purchase online. If you’re in Vermont, you can visit the Distillery and enjoy their cocktail bar. The patio is open for the season so you can enjoy your cocktails while catching some sun.

Celebrate World Gin Day with one of these gins!

HAPUSA Gin is a product of NAO Spirits. It launched in 2018 and is one of two spirts that the company distills in India. It felt fitting to feature an Indian gin, since the gin and tonic was invented here.

The name HAPUSA means “juniper” in Sanskrit. The juniper berry that is used in this gin is found near the snow line in the Himalayas. Other botanicals HAPUSA is made with include cardamom, mango and turmeric, giving this gin a unique and earthy flavor.

This spirit has won multiple awards, including a gold medal at the 2021 International Wines & Spirits Competition (IWSC). According to a press email, “Distillers Anand Virmani and Jay Dhawan highly recommend HAPUSA in a Negroni or with ice and tonic topped with dark-roast cold brew coffee.” HAPUSA Gin can be purchased online and at select retailers throughout the country.

KI NO BI is a gin that is distilled in Japan’s only distillery in Kyoto. KI NO BI means “The Beauty of the Seasons” and was founded in 2014 by Noriko Kakuda Croll, David Croll and Marcin Miller.

In a recent press email it was noted that “Kyoto Distillery has mastered not only the science of distillation but also the age-old art of blending, and separates the botanicals into six different categories: base, citrus, tea, herbal, spice, and floral. Each category is distilled individually, then blended in perfect balance to create the distinct KI NO BI flavor.”  The water used is sourced from the Fushimi region. The gin is made with eleven Japanese botanicals that include yellow yuzu, Kinoki (Japanese cypress), bamboo, Gyokuro green tea, shiso and Green Sansho (Japanese Szechuan Peppercorn) which are all perfectly balanced to create a smooth and easy to sip gin.

Besides KI NO BI, the Kyoto based distillery makes seven other types of gin, including one with gold leaf. They also make a plum and berry liqueur. Many of their products can be purchased online and at select retailers throughout the country.

Las Californias Gin
Las Californias Gin launched earlier this month with two different expressions: Nativio and Citrico. The gin is made by the Casa Lumbre spirits company and led by Master Distiller Iván Saldaña.

According to a press release that was shared with us, “Nativo tells the story of the land of Las Californias through its use of endemic botanicals from the region that predate human development. Cítrico tells the story of the people, using botanicals that have been brought to the area by different cultures over hundreds of years of migration.”

The gin is made with botanicals from both the United States and Mexico. Citrico is a citrus gin made with botanicals including California juniper, fig, almond, and apricot. Nativio is an evergreen gin made with botanicals including California juniper, white sage and damiana. By eliminating borders they have created a harmonious blend of two countries and cultures.

This gin is brand new to the market, but I was sent samples of both the Nativio and Citrico. I made a Pomelo Highball using the Citrico mixed with Pamplemousse  La Croix. It was citrusy and smooth. I look forward to sampling the Nativio in a classic gin and tonic.

Since it launched less than two weeks ago, Las Californias Gin is currently only available in California at Total Wine and More or Blackwell’s. It will be available in more markets in the upcoming weeks. It should be available on Reserve Bar later this month as well.

Next. Cool off with Cooloo cocktail pops. dark

Guilty Eaters, how are you celebrating World Gin Day? Did you even know World Gin Day was a thing? Have you tried any of these gins?