Cocktails with… Jackelope Gin

Jackelope Gin is made at Peach Street Distillers in Palisade, Colorado. It is bottled at 40% ABV and contains eight locally-sourced botanicals.

So what is a Jackelope?

It is a rarely seen creature of North America, looking something like a jackrabbit with an antelope’s ears. They are notoriously difficult to catch, but it’s said that they can be lured into intoxication (making them easier to catch) by leaving them a flask of whiskey out overnight.

On its own
Nose: Dusky floral with hints of earthy, herbal notes, along with marshmallow and juniper.
Taste: Juniper (piney & sappy) came through more on the taste than the nose, along with plenty of coriander, too. This was quite a perfumed and floral gin, with additional hints of anise, chocolate and citrus. It had a medium-length finish with spicy black pepper towards the end.

Gin & Tonic
Very citrusy and exceptionally floral, this was heavy on the citrus: primarily lemon and lemon verbena, but also lemongrass and coriander. Not typical, by any means, but still quite nice.

Martini
A very herbal and floral Martini, with notes of lavender, coriander and woody bark. I thought this was rather contemporary in style, with maybe even a touch of the Eastern European style of gin. Tasty, with a floral and anise finish.

Negroni
This made quite a classic Negroni, but perhaps one that had a few more bitter, herbal notes than would normally be expected. Nonetheless, this is pretty textbook for Negroni lovers.

In Conclusion
A pretty classic gin with a more contemporary twist, juniper and a good bunch of herbal flavours. My favourite drink was the Negroni which was intense and excellent.

Cocktails with… Leopold’s Gin – From Colorado USA

Leopold’s Gin is made at a small batch distillery in Denver Colorado, USA. Produced since 2002, each bottle is hand-bottled, hand-labeled and numbered.Leopold’s contains 6 botanicals, each of which is distilled separately before all being blended together to create the gin.Juniper
Coriander
Orange*
Orris Root
Cardamon
Pomelo**

The botanicals are used in this way because Leopold’s believe it to be a better way of extracting the best flavour. They suggest that, as different botanicals have different boiling points, placing them all in the still at the same time can lead to some being over-boiled, affecting the flavour; blending separate distillates helps to mitigate this.
1) Own
Nose: Very fresh, with some leafy notes akin to fleshy vegetables like cucumber. Floral and dusky herbs, too.
Taste: Again, this was quite floral, with a hint of fresh salad and herbs. Slightly sweet, but with a dry edge from the pine-y juniper, this reminded me of some of the Eastern European Gins, such as Russian Veresk and the Czech Rudolf Jelinek.2) Gin & Tonic
This was very dry and very herbal, once again reminding of gins from Eastern Europe. Being quite earthy, it reminded me of the forest. It was much lower on the citrus and not so crisp as other G&Ts, but good nonetheless.

3) Martini
Lovely; really crisp and clean. Quite savoury, with some great pine and herbal notes, but not much citrus. A bit different and a really nice change.

4) Negroni
Soft and sweet, with hints of spice. There were some crisp, leafy notes a bit like cucumber, too. I thought this was quite fresh for a Negroni, with a moderate level of bitterness.

5) Alexander
Very flavourful and rich, but not over-indulgent. Certainly an after-dinner desert drink, but a very pleasant one at that. Clean, creamy and chocolatey, with the gin giving it a pleasant, dry finish.

6) Hot Toddy
Very herbal, floral with hints of cloves and lavender and particularly strong notes of pine. I think this would work even better with honey, as opposed to sugar syrup.

7) Snowdrop (Invented by F. Benniman)
[40ml Gin, 20ml Lemon Juice, 10ml Triple Sec, 10ml Maraschino – SHAKE]
Tart and dry, with a minimal level of sweetness that was only really coming from the Maraschino at the end. There were also a good array of herbal notes. This was a bracing drink, but wasn’t that refreshing; unless you like sour drinks***, I’d avoid this.

8) Martinez
Full of sweet citrus and herbal notes. These herbal elements from the gin go well with the sweet vermouth, creating a simple drink with a balanced flavour and a very pleasant finish.

In Conclusion
I think Leopold’s is a welcome departure from the plethora of London Dry Gins currently on the market. Whilst keeping juniper/pine flavours in their proper place, the other herbal notes that come through give the gin a character similar to those of Studer, Veresk and Rudolf Jelinek.

I thought the cocktails that best presented this character were the Martinez and Martini; they were easily my favourites.