Contrary to name, Brooklyn Gin is not distilled in Brooklyn, but a bit more upstate at the Warwick Vallery Winery and Distillery. But this point is purely academic and worth getting out of the way at the outset.
Among the earlier “craft gins,” Brooklyn Gin has been on the market since 2010. Its base spirit is entirely corn and distilled on a relatively small copper pot still. Founders Emil Jättne and Joe Santos designed a gin to showcase the vibrancy of fresh citrus peel—in fact many kinds of citrus—and the spirit of independent and small. Combined with a handsome bottle design, Brooklyn Gin has demonstrated an impressive staying power and in fact is one of the most requested reviews on this site.
Fresh from the bottle, there’s a vibrant surge of citrus. The attention to this category of botanicals is evident: lime, Mineola orange and other sweet orange notes. Juniper, lavender, cardamom and coriander notes as well. Quite complex with a lot of facets; however, the citrus is the star.
The palate continues to showcase the vibrancy of citrus. At first sip, a hint of pine dressed juniper berry, sweet orange and lemon zest; it evolves turning into a bit more sour citrus as the spice notes come through. Lime and white grapefruit pith, with cardamom and chai notes occupying some background white space. The finish has residual juniper shimmer with green echoes of lavender.
Brooklyn Gin is smooth and easy to drink with a medium mouthfeel and a medium length finish.
Tantalized by comments from another writer, I tried diluting Brooklyn Gin with some cold water and did find that it indeed brought out even more citrus, but slightly more spice on the finish as well. I found a similar in Gin and Tonic where the citrus really took over. A lovely drink but one where the juniper shies away to the fringes.
Stirred in a Martini, there’s more delicate hints of lavender that seem to come to the fore; wherein bitter wormwood melds delicately to create a complex, but still very easily drinkable spirit. In more advanced cocktail craft, the citrus flavor comes through, punching at a higher strength than the 40% ABV might otherwise suggest. I enjoyed it in citrus forward cocktails like the Tom Collins and Gimlet for starters; but found it to be a welcome addition to my home bar.
Overall, while those looking for a more heavy juniper-forward gin may not find it here, this is a well balanced gin that exemplifies the citrus forward contemporary style without sacrificing the signature flavor of gin— that is to say, the juniper. It mixes well in cocktails and mixed drinks, and flavor-wise I think it’s an incredibly accessible gin that walks the line between both worlds of gin, sure enough to probably not be far enough to either side to win over the purists, but moderate enough to win over the masses. Well made and recommended.