AUGUST'S SPIRIT OF THE MONTH--COIT SPIRIT'S EARL GRAY GIN
August’s Spirit of the Month is Coit Spirit’s Earl Gray Tea Gin. In July, I was able to sit down with Gerry Rowland, Master Distiller of Coit Spirits. While tasting through the line up of the distillery's gins (you can check out their Cape and Caravan here) and ready-to-drink cocktails (Mission and Paradisio are also available at The Wine Country), Gerry explained to me how difficult it was to make a stabilized spirit out of tea, but it was worth the work.
It took 12 months to create the perfect ten-botanical combination to make the Earl Gray Gin. By having the tea in the still instead of steeping it into a finished distillate, Gerry can gather the true flavors of the tea without any tea tannins taking away from the taste. Wanting expressive, lingering flavors is why Gerry wanted to make his gins tea-based. As he said “A tea’s aromas and flavors expand as they are in water longer. So as your ice dilutes into your cocktail, the flavors become more expressive.” Expressive is a great way to describe Coit’s Earl Gray Gin.
Bold black tea flavors up front awaken the palate. Vibrant notes of bergamot tickle your taste buds and bring a zippiness to the spirit. There is also a combination of subtle anise and juniper that serves as a savory component and a nice transition back to black tea, which isn’t as bold as it was up front, but still very present. Both the black tea and bergamot flavors linger on the palate.
An extraordinary and creative approach to gin.