Automatic, Sea Gin
Oakland Spirits Co.
I have highly recommended two gins so far this year. The first was Letherbee Vernal 2017 out of Chicago. I really like the Asian flavors, particularly the lemongrass. The second was Winter Gin from Short Path Distillery, just north of Boston. I love the strong rosemary flavor blended with juniper. As great as those two gins are, this week’s gin is my favorite gin of the year.
Last fall, I traveled to San Francisco and had dinner at Kin Khao, an amazing Thai style restaurant near Union Square. The food is incredible, particularly the rabbit green curry. They also carry all three Atomic Gins from the Oakland Spirits Company: Uptown Dry, Gin No. 5, and Sea Gin. Uptown is a juniper forward London Dry. I tried that first. It was good. Gin No. 5 is a Western Style Gin with strong citrus notes. That was next, also good. I had intended to skip Sea Gin, but maybe it was because I’d all ready had two drinks that I was willing to risk this “nori flavored” gin. That’s right, the strongest flavor in Sea Gin is seaweed. Even to a sushi lover like me, it sounds disgusting. I had no intent of giving it a try, but being one not to pass up a gin, I did.
Sea Gin is as weird as it sounds. This isn’t a gin for everyone, but I love it. One one hand it tastes like the ocean. The nori gives it an intense brininess, unlike anything else I have tried. On the other hand, the sage and the grassiness of the seaweed present an “earthy” flavor. (I know, a strange description for “sea” gin.) It goes perfectly with spicy food, like the rabbit at Kin Khao. It wonderfully compliments the flavors of Asian foods. Of course you should eat it with sushi, but also fried rice and pad Thai.
Sea Gin likes tonic. Given the strength of the flavor, I recommend 1:3 gin to tonic ratio. The salinity means it isn’t suitable for all gin cocktails and shouldn’t be wasted in one where the gin isn’t the primary flavor. If not drinking it straight or with tonic, reserve it for a Martini. The alcohol content is moderate at 90 proof, but it remains smooth. The bottle is simple but attractive with a corked top.
Get this gin. It isn’t going to be your everyday gin, but it is one you absolutely have to try. I admit it sounds a little odd, but I was pleasantly surprised and I think you will be too. This has been my best gin find of the past year and I am pleased to highly recommend it. Highly Recommended
Gin # 010
G&T Ratio 1:3
Distillers notes: “Briny gin with foraged nori, bay sage, lemongrass, and some other stuff. Distilled from grapes.”