From the Sunshine capital of the United States,* comes Old St. Pete Tropical Gin which seeks to capture that in a bottle. Emblazoned with a giant sun on the bottle, Old St. Pete Tropical Gin rests on that which its namesake sunshine and tropical climate combine to produce the most of: citrus fruit**. But it’s not all sunshine and citrus. Director of Product Development Daniel Undhammer Sr. is a Londoner by birth, who moved to Florida to start his distillery. In a recent Tampa Tribune interview, Undhammer described their gin as a little bit of old meeting new.
PS, special thanks to Justin, a.k.a. @thetoptippler, for procuring me a sample of the gin.
Crisp and clean on the nose, coriander chiefly, but a smidge of juniper on it as well. A little bit of sweet spice underneath it as well.
Assertive palate with loud botanicals. Juniper, sweet citrus, floral coriander, turning citrusy/spicy (but still coriander) mid-palate. Bitter grapefruit zest, orange and lemon a bit later, a momentary flash of anise/fennel, with a long spice-laden finish, cardamom rising from the ashes with peppery hints of nutmeg/allspice on the edges as well.
Considerable complexity emerges, as on consecutive sips I’m able to pull out further notes. Juniper still stays in the background as a white noise filling in the gaps, but mostly noticable as a resonant echo behind the louder spice and citrus notes.
That being said, I’d say it actually leans closer to a spice forward contemporary style gin than a citrus-forward. I know citrus is a big part of the concept, and while it’s certainly a part of the spirits’ taste impression, it’s not the dominant botanical profile. It’s good, the two accords (cardamom + coriander & orange and grapefruit and lemon and lime) work well together, but for me it’s that tantalizing hint of anise/fennel that comes on late that makes it.
Sure, the spirit is loud. It’s a strong mixer, showing its colors no matter what the cocktail. It won’t sit quietly; however, it might be a touch too bold with the flavors yelling for attention. There’s not much room to breathe. It’s one after another. A quick torrid affair with nary a pause to be had. Those looking for a subtle or quieter gin won’t find it here. The sun is shining brightly and for those who open their blinds, they’ll find a day worth seizing. For others I suggest sunglasses and some strong co-stars. How about a Negroni or Gin and Tonic with syrup? Now there’s a couple drinks for a 360 day long beach season.
Loudly flavored, it practically shouts with many of the notes of the contemporary gin movement: coriander, cardamom, a melange of citrus sing amid a paucity of juniper. That being said, I find it to be one of the best contemporary style cocktail gins at its proof point, adding an intense burst of flavor at a steely 90 proof. Overall, it’s a good gin that does a lot of things quite right, but might have juniperavores looking for a side plate of juniper.
*Boasting 360 days per year, on average, hence the name “Sunshine City.”
** Similar to St Augustine New World Gin