Brooklyn Gin is one of the finest contemporary-styled gins we can offer at the EC Proof store. As a corn-based spirit coming from the United States, it has a very distinct flavour that’s easily recognisable, even in cocktails. The freshness of gin and its strong juniper aroma makes it a wonderful addition to any home bar. In fact, according to the manufacturers, Brooklyn Gin is of such high quality that you can even drink it neat.
One of the fascinating characteristics of this spirit is the distillation process and the fact that everything is done by hand. The whole process takes three days, and no more than 300 bottles are produced in one batch. Brooklyn Gin is created in New York, but not in Brooklyn. In fact, it’s distilled in Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery, which is located in the foothills of the Hudson Valley.
However, the creators of Brooklyn Gin, Joe Santos and Emil Jattne, have a dream of building a distillery in the neighbourhood so that they can distil the gin right there.
The origin story of Brooklyn Gin begins when two former brand directors of one of the biggest spirits companies in the United States, Bacardi, decided that they wanted to create a craft spirit. Thus, Brooklyn Gin was born, and it was everything the co-founders wanted it to be, a hand-crafted gin that’s distilled in small batches to assure the highest quality.
In 2006, Joe Santos and Emil Jattne started their journey. By 2010, they sold their first bottle of Brooklyn Gin. It wasn’t long before the particular taste of the spirits made it an instant boom across bars and restaurants in the city.
Artisan spirits inspired both, Joe Santos and Emil Jattne, and they wanted to create a gin they would enjoy drinking. Since they had extensive experience in the field, they knew it would take time to make a genuinely hand-crafted gin. Of course, they were right, it does take time, and the process for creating 300 bottles takes three days, because everything is done by hand.
Furthermore, when the co-founders were discussing which spirit was worth creating, they both landed on the same answer — gin, because it’s the base for so many great cocktails. Hence, since gin doesn’t have geographical restrictions like cognac, scotch or tequila, it allows the distillers a bit more room for creativity.
The Brooklyn Distilling Company & Warwick Valley Distillery
The Brooklyn Distilling Company and Warwick Valley Distillery are collaborating in order to make the famous Brooklyn Gin. In fact, the Brooklyn Distilling Company is run by the co-founders, Joe Santos and Emil Jattne, with the Warwick Valley Distillery actually distilling the gin. However, as we mentioned above, the founders are focused on opening a distillery in Brooklyn sometime in the future.
The history of the Brooklyn Distilling Company starts in 1895. The distillery was established to process the waste products of the sugar industry into spirits. However, by 1900, it vanished from the public eye. It reappeared in 2010, as the manufacturer of Brooklyn Gin, its first product after more than 100 years.
The Warwick Valley Distillery, which is where the gin is actually made, is even older, and it’s the first distillery in New York since the prohibition era. These two partners came together to distil Brooklyn Gin, and in 2010, the gin debuted on the spirit’s market.
The Brooklyn Gin is made with 11 botanicals: juniper, lavender, orris root, angelica root, coriander, Eureka lemon, Persian lime, Key lime, Navel orange and kumquat. Therefore, the first time you taste this gin, you’ll be able to distinguish almost all of the botanicals inside.
The corn, which is the base of the gin, is 100 percent locally sourced in the United States, while some of the other botanicals are imported from all around the world. Since the co-founders wanted to create a unique spirit that’s fresh and has a vigorous zest in the flavour, they decided to do that by paying extra attention to the juniper.
If you’re a gin lover, then you already know that juniper is what makes the better part of gin (it wouldn't be even considered as gin if it didn't contain juniper berries.) Hence, Brooklyn Gin uses the essential oils in the juniper berries to draw out the flavour on the nose. The distillers were going for a stronger juniper flavour, in order to make the end product zesty and perfect for refreshing cocktails.
Another inventive technique for enhancing the flavours is that the distillers use only fresh citrus peels (more than one type) and they are all sliced by hand. As we already said above, Brooklyn gin is a craft spirit.
Brooklyn’s Distillation Process
The main branding point and the whole backstory of the Brooklyn Gin are focused on its unique and traditional “everything-by-hand” process. Therefore, it’s impossible to review Brooklyn Gin without mentioning the Christian Carl copper pot still that made all of that possible.
As we mentioned above, juniper is what makes the gin, but the copper pot still is what creates that infusion between the base spirit and the botanicals. Copper itself plays a significant role in the gin-making process, because it’s an excellent conduit for heat. Hence, the heat is dispersed evenly over the surface of the still, which results in an efficient distilling process.
Furthermore, copper reacts on a molecular level, and since forever, master distillers have been producing clean and smooth spirits with copper pot stills. Copper also helps with stripping out the volatile sulphuric compounds and byproducts, as the gin distils. During that process, any unwanted flavours and aromas are removed from the final product.
Plus, copper has antimicrobial properties that reduce the chance of contamination during distillation. All in all, it’s quite understandable why the distillers decided to distil Brooklyn Gin with a Christian Carl copper pot still.
Brooklyn’s Tasting Notes
The moment the gin reaches your taste buds and your nose, you’ll note the refreshing, vibrant note of citrus. That’s because the distillers use only fresh, organic fruits, instead of dried-out botanicals (customary for other gins.) The flavours of lime, Mineola orange and other sweet oranges are highly emphasised in this spirit, because the gin is meant to mix well with other liquids and to be good enough for neat drinking.
As the flavour subsides, you’ll be able to taste juniper, lavender, cardamom and coriander notes that give the Brooklyn gin a complex and smooth aftertaste. However, the citrus is still the “star” of this spirit. From the nose to the finishing touches, you’ll taste how the citrusy flavour transforms from a light hint of pine to rich and sour. The sour citrus is emphasised by the spices used during distillation.
The lime and white grapefruit pith, with cardamom and chai notes, are supporting the smooth finish. In the after taste, you’ll be left with flavours of juniper shimmer and lavender notes. The black pepper spice gives Brooklyn Gin a depth that usually lacks in fruity gins.
Brooklyn’s Awards & Accolades
Brooklyn Gin, in its own right, is a rather unique and complex craft spirit that has a memorable and characteristic flavour. Because the whole process is done by hand (only 300 bottles per batch in three days), the quality control is on the highest level. That hard work results in a smooth, well-balanced gin you can drink on the rocks!
The mission of the co-founders was to “… make a high-quality small-batch American gin by hand, on their terms.” Thus, it’s quite apparent that the time and effort they put in creating Brooklyn Gin has paid off, not only in popularity but in recognition from their peers as well.
Here is the extensive list of awards and accolades that Brooklyn Gin has won in the short time it has been on the spirits market:
- Double gold medal at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
- Double gold medal at the 2015 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition
- Gold medal at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
- Gold medal at the 2015 Craft Competition
- 91 points and a rating of “Excellent, Highly Recommended” at the 2015 Ultimate Spirits Challenge
Starting from the bottle, everything about Brooklyn Gin is impressive. Bottled at ABV 40 percent, with a corn base and a strong citrusy flavour, Brooklyn Gin is a fine addition to any home bar. When it arrives at your home, you’ll notice the craftsmanship in the packaging. It’s a heavy bottle, with a big cork and a metal top that makes a striking impression.
It is a well-balanced gin that pushes the citrus flavour forward in a contemporary style, but without sacrificing the signature flavour of gin, which is the juniper. In fact, the aftertaste of gin is where you’ll taste the juniper the most.
Brooklyn Gin mixes incredibly well with cocktails because it has a very refreshing flavour that’s complemented by spices. Thus, it will go amazingly well in a gin martini or in a gin and tonic, where the taste can really come out, and the notes of fruits can pleasantly surprise you. You can even play around with different vermouths and ratios until you find the one that suits you best.
On the other hand, when you’re drinking it neat, you’ll notice that the texture is very smooth and the aftertaste is very long. We would recommend you to try it!
Brooklyn Gin Signature Cocktails
The first description of the word “cocktail” appeared on the 6th of May in 1806 in a New York newspaper as “… a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters.” By 1826, people started inventing cocktail recipes, and one of the first ones was the Pink Gin, which was created on an English ship patrolling the Carribian. From that point on, cocktails just gained in popularity, and bartenders across the globe had their hands full with making and inventing new drinks.
That’s why today, we have a vibrant and developed “cocktail culture,” and people love going to “happy hour.” The co-founders behind Brooklyn Gin had that particular motive in mind when they created the spirit. Here is a list of some of the best Brooklyn Gin cocktails you can stir up:
Gin & Tonic
The gin and tonic cocktail has a very interesting origin story, as a highball cocktail created by officers from the British East India Company in India. The usual ratios of gin to tonic are between 1:1 and 1:3, depending on personal preferences. Because both of the ingredients have a similar molecular shape, they attract each other and create a refreshing flavour. However, the taste of the cocktail changes according to the gin and the soda you use inside. Therefore, Brooklyn Gin would be perfect if you want a citrusy flavour.
As many reviewers of Brooklyn Gin have stated, this gin is made for a Martini cocktail. As one of the most famous cocktails of all time, "the elixir of quietude" is a combination of gin and vermouth. It was invented in the 1860s, and it reached the height of its era in the 20s. The gin to vermouth ratio changed over time, although till this day the perfect Martini is considered to be 2:1. Served in a chilled cocktail glass, the Martini is a classic, and a favourite even now.
If you want something like a Martini, but not a Martini, then you probably want an Alaska cocktail. It’s made with gin (of course), but instead of vermouth, it contains a yellow Chartreuse, which is an intensely herbal French liqueur. It was invented in the 1910s, but it came back in fashion now, and it has already taken over the fancy bars across the United States in the last couple of years. The golden colour of the cocktail and the soft harmony and complexity of the complementary spirits make it a fantastic choice for Martini lovers.
The Parchment Fizz is one of the signature cocktails of the Brooklyn Gin, and it’s prepared with two oz Brooklyn Gin, ¾ oz fresh lime juice, ½ oz simple syrup, ½ oz Bianco vermouth, ½ oz pear eau-de-vie, two dashes Peychaud’s bitters and one dash absinthe. As you can see from the recipe, this is a strong, yet a refreshing cocktail for a hot summer night. You can prepare this for yourself at home — just top it off with a little soda water and serve it in a tall Collins glass.
Atlantic Avenue Shuffle
The Atlantic Avenue Shuffle is easy to prepare when you have a bottle of Brooklyn Gin in your home bar. You’ll need a few additional ingredients like fresh lemon juice, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, simple syrup, Aperol and orange bitters. Just like the Parchment Fizz, the Atlantic Avenue Shuffle is a Brooklyn Gin signature cocktail, and it will go best with this gin brand. If you want to add in a little bit more kick, you can add a little absinthe, or if you’re in the mood for something sparkly, you can add champagne.
Maxwell’s Return Punch
The Maxwell’s Return Punch is a Brooklyn Gin special recipe, created by the founders for their friend Max’s return to work (as you can see by the name). It is a tropical cocktail with a lot of fresh liquids, including pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, green Chartreuse, chilled soda water and fresh rosemary leaves in the simple syrup. If you’re throwing a party at your home, this punch can be the hit of the evening!