You’re not wearing the same style jeans you were 10 years ago, so why keep drinking the same old booze? We are in a golden age of spirits, with new and exciting liquors popping up. We’ll always be head-over-heels for the tried and true bottles in our liquor cabinet, but these spirits new to the Atlanta market are worthy of your consideration and money.
Gin from Texas? Available the first of April, Roxor gin is the sexy brainchild of a James Beard Award-winning chef (also with a Ph.D in chemistry) and a former international executive from Coca-Cola. Robert Del Grande devised the recipe of 12 Texas botanicals and Don Short designed the architectural bottle and palindrome name. Soft steeping of sarsaparilla, juniper, coriander, grapefruit zest, orris root, hibiscus flower, cocoa nibs, pecans, lime, grains of paradise, cubeb peppers and cinnamon is distilled and re-distilled in Dallas for a smooth and balanced gin. They call it modern gin; we call it a stepping stone for vodka drinkers, thanks to the way grapefruit and coriander soften the juniper.
While Merriam-Webster defines bedlam as “a state of uproar and confusion,” Bedlam vodka is anything but. It’s distilled in Durham, N.C., and long-grain rice is the little white heart of this smooth vodka with a subtle sweetness and biscuity, cereal-like notes. It’s clean-tasting, but you still can taste the basic ingredient, and it has soft, floral aromas. Created from what Greybeard Distillery calls an old family recipe, Bedlam is named after a town in Ireland.
$22.99 per 750-milliliter bottle. Available at Tower Beer, Wine & Spirits, Total Wine & More, the Juice Box Atlanta. bedlamvodka.com.
The Bitter Truth pink gin
It’s fragrant, and so pretty in pink that you wouldn’t expect the origin story of pink gin to be a seafarer’s breakfast. The Royal Navy used this formula to cure and head off seasickness on ocean voyages. The German Bitter Truth brand of bitters, spirits and liquor uses a Mediterranean mixture of warm spices, juniper and lemons in bitters that are blended with distinctly juniper gin. The result is a smooth taste, with floral and fruity aromas and a hint of lingering spice from the bitters, which naturally provide the light rosy tone.
$36.99 per 750-milliliter bottle. Available at Savi Urban Market, Tower Beer & Wine and Vintage Bottle Shop. the-bitter-truth.com.
The Ninth gin
Gin typically isn’t meant to be sipped stripped down. Enter Copper & Kings’ The Ninth: A Symphony in Orange, which hits Atlanta in April. Sure, it would make an incredible sun-kissed negroni, but, if drunk straight up, it tastes like the moment an orange peel is expressed over a cocktail, when the fragrant oils let loose and hit all senses at once. The brandy-based gin is made from apple wine, with fresh pressed apples and orange blossom honey, then double-distilled with whole juniper berries, Seville bitter orange peels, sweet orange and grapefruit peels, and jasmine. Its complexity is layered. There is nothing artificial in the crisp, tropical brightness that boldly presents itself without a hint of sweetness.
$35 per 750-milliliter bottle. Available at Total Wine & More Barrett Parkway, Tower Beer, Wine & Spirits. copperandkings.com.
Old Fourth Distillery bottled-in-bond straight bourbon whiskey
Four years in the making, Atlanta’s first bottled-in-bond bourbon is now available from Old Fourth Distillery. It has been aged in new white American oak, having been racked in a warehouse in East Atlanta since January, 2015. The 100-proof, unfiltered bourbon is naturally caramel-colored, behind artwork on the bottle depicting Edgewood’s Trolley Barn, just down the street from the distillery. It drinks with chocolate, cocoa, sweet oak and hints of fruit that linger on the palate. Owner-distiller Jeff Moore said it has “a soft, smooth finish.” Snag this one quickly, as it is a very limited release of just 75 barrels.
$47.99 per 750-milliliter bottle. Available at Decatur Package Store, Old Fourth Distillery, Smokerise Bottle Shop, Tower Beer, Wine & Spirits. 04d.com.
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