Enmieda 18 hails from Tijuana, Mexico. Being a border city, when the United States enacted the 18th amendment— the one prohibiting alcohol— Tijuana was uniquely positioned to benefit. Gin Jamaica is one of three gins produced by Destilería Agua Caliente.
Jamaica in this case doesn’t refer to the country, it refers to the flowers of the Hibiscus plant. Flor de Jamaica is Spanish for Hibiscus flowers.
Gin Jamaica starts as their distilled citrus gin (tangerine, orange), to which Hibiscus flowers are added by maceration. Think of it as another product in the vain of Pinckney Bend’s Hibiscus American Gin.
The nose has a lot of intense citrus character. Jammy orange marmalade, tangerine rind and vanilla cream. Hibiscus is bold as well, but it does most of its work supporting a jammy, citrusy core.
Sipped, there’s a surprising amount of depth notes, including spice, around the heart of Gin Jamaica. Light lemon curd early. Then buttered cinnamon bread with coriander, juniper and vanilla bean.
Hibiscus is prominent, especially on the back half. Notes of floral, herbal tea. Hints of lavender and lemon as well. The macerated hibiscus doesn’t yield a true tannic note, but the combination of astringency and botanicals suggests such.
Fairly long finish with citrus and dried flowers.
The hibiscus infusion is brightened with fizzy water— try this gin in a Gin and Soda, Gin and Tonic or even a Gin and Cola. In the latter, the hibiscus comes through; however, it’s those citrus and vanilla notes that make it really work.
Overall, bartenders can treat Gin Jamaica as a citrus forward gin, with a slight dessert nuance. Good in a French 75 or Gin Alexander.
Overall, Enmienda 18 Gin Jamaica
Creamy with rich vanilla and citrus notes, Gin Jamaica is intensely contemporary. The Hibiscus is used to nice effect. The overall flavor profile veers strongly away from juniper. Gin fans will find it a bit light in this distinguishing feature.
Citrusy, floral and contemporary— it struggles only when you assign the word “gin” to it.