Aqva Di Gin Citrus

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Bespoke Distillery is a bit of a product development consultancy, inspired by designing for bartenders. The Aqva Di Gin lineup focuses on what spirits producers can learn from perfumers.

But the process behind the lineup, including Aqva Di Gin Citrus is unusual and involved.

There are two different aspects to the botanical assembly. The first takes spring water along with samphire, Juniperus virginiana and myrtle leaves, then distills them at low temperatures— note there is no alcohol at this step! This part will only extract water soluble molecules from these botanicals.

The second part uses alcohol, but each botanical is individually macerated and distilled. These botanical distillates are then blended.

Finally, the water soluble and alcohol soluble parts are combined, and then re-distilled together, along with some additional botanicals suspended in the still.

Tasting notes

Aroma: Juicy citrus nose. Lemon drop candy, orange oil, bright mandarins and a touch of Neroli. Maybe the slightest hint of green juniper— Aqva Di Gin Citrus is a citrus bomb.

Flavor: Loud and pronounced, the palate is quite true to the nose. A bit less lemon and a bit more orange. Early tangerine and mandarin blossom, to a rich orange-oil heart. Hints of orange blossom around the edges, with some herbal facets suggesting lemongrass and a hint of sage.

Within the herbal and citrus notes, some pointy green juniper emerges in the background.

Soft mouthfeel, but the expression of the botanicals— in their color and fortitude— almost is enough to suggest a subtle sweetness on the palate.

Finish: Quite long with little heat. Hints of lemon and bergamot hang on at the back of the palate long after sipped. Impressive tenacity. These delicate, often fleeting bright citrus notes hang around in the glass and in the mouth for a long time. There’s clearly some skillful technique in the making of Aqva di Gin Citrus.

Cocktails and suggested serves

As a strong citrus forward gin that is unabashedly about citrus from start to end, bartenders are advised to use it with this in mind. The combination of fresh citrus is a nice counterpoint to the oily sweetness of the gin. Try it in a Tom Collins.

It can add a surprising bright citrus note to the Negroni, but Aqva di Gin Citrus leaves a citrus vodka impression, especially in some mixed drinks where the already quiet juniper can be pushed completely out of sight.

Mix this gin with Pepsi and it will take you back to the long since discontinued Pepsi Twist.

Overall, Aqva di Gin Citrus

I wish that Aqva di Gin Citrus gave the juniper the same attention it did the citrus. The citrus notes are so masterfully achieved, so bright and beautiful, it’s worth pausing and asking what this gin could be if juniper was highlighted in this way as well.

However, based simply on what’s in the glass, Aqva di Gin Citrus is a solid celebration of citrus. Depending on your upbringing, you might find that there’s parts of this gin’s aroma and flavor that resembles the aroma of some cleaning products.

It’s not the easiest mixer— mix with the citrus in mind. But as long as you work with what the gin is giving you and you don’t try to force it into a box shaped like other gins, you’ll find something to like about this spirit.

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