Snail of Approval winner One Eight Distilling is DC’s second distillery and although they have a full line-up of popular products, they’ve developed somewhat of a cult following for their Ivy City gin. To find out why, we teamed with One Eight’s Marketing and Event Manager Cara Webster for a workshop on the magical ingredients that make this gin is so popular.
Gin is essentially vodka with the additional of botanicals, which makes the quality of both the base spirit and the flavoring components extremely important. In order for gin to be classified as gin, juniper berries must be the main flavoring agent but after that, just about anything is fair game to create a flavor profile that is unique to the distiller. For One Eight, this includes botanicals such as allspice, fennel, lemongrass, orange peel, coriander, and Grains of Paradise, with each lending a particular fruity, spicy, or sweet note to the final product.
To understand how impactful each botanical can be, participants smelled and tasted a distillate of each of these botanicals – essentially a super contracted essence of the botanical’s flavor. Then everyone could choose which flavor elements they liked best to create their own personal brand of gin – as long as it included some juniper!
With our signature blends in hand, we were invited to make our own gin and tonics with an assortment of fruits and herbs to accent our creations. Certainly a fun way to play with flavor profiles and to discover new ways to enjoy one of DC’s favorite products. Keep an eye out for future special releases from One Eight Distilling, and for workshops on their other products!
This event was part of Slow Food DC’s Summer of Sustainable Beverages series.