I Srsly Love This Gin. Not Just Because It Was Free.

Gin by Amy

Oh, the product samples we get!  Screw the garden gloves; I want to drink me some gin!  So a big GardenRant salute goes out to Tru Organic Spirits, makers of a damn fine organic, low-carbon-footprint gin that also happens to be really tasty and oh-so-botanical.

If you need to know how eco-friendly these people are, what with the tree planting and the lightweight bottles and the organic ingredients, go here and read it for yourself. What the rest of you need to know is that this is one of those very garden-y flavored gins, complex and interesting and suggestive of intriguing combinations.  The plants used in the distillation give it its amber color, and you will taste bits of all of them as you sip:

Juniper berries
Lemon zest
Angelica root
Corriander seeds
Vanilla beans
Star anise

Yes, indeed.  I would strongly recommend this one for a lavender martini later in the season–pick some fresh lavender buds on a hot summer afternoon, shake with the ice and gin and vermouth, strain to get the unattractive planty bits out, and garnish with a pretty lavender sprig.  Mmmmm.

Also, Amy's Garden Party, which I made for Scott Calhoun at last year's Garden Writers Association conference:

Take a tall, skinny clear glass. 
Drop in a good-sized fresh sprig of either cilantro or basil. 
Add cucumbers, preferably cut into pencil-shaped sticks with the skins on.
Add a couple slices of fresh jalapeno.
Fill with ice cubes.
Pour in the tonic, and then the gin, in your preferred ratio.  Stir vigorously to crush the herbs and jalapeno.
Garnish with a couple cherry tomatoes on a toothpick.

What a kick!  It would be awesome with this gin.

Finally, my husband's own variation on a Ciao Bella, which I at this moment hereby name Scott's Sophisticated Citrus:

2 parts gin
2 parts fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice (experiment with citrus of your choice)
2 parts red sweet vermouth
1 part Campari.

Shake with ice, strain, pour, serve with a little slice of citrus.

Here's where you can get it.  Oh, and on their blog, the LA-based Fallen Fruit that maps public fruit trees in LA, made a cool distillation of very local neighborhood fruit.

It must be cocktail hour somewhere, right?  Blow off work and go mix some drinks.