I talk at length about the Sacred Spirits Company in my book Gin: the Art and Craft of the Artisan Revival, so if you want to read more about distiller Ian Hart’s incredible setup, I suggest you take a look there. But now we look closer at Sacred Pink Grapefruit Gin.
Today, we’re looking at just one of the spirits in his line of “flavored” gins which emphasize a single botanical to the nth degree. To showcase what exactly that ingredient can add. All are distilled at low temperatures in Sacred’s vacuum still and unlike other gins which feature pink grapefruit, this one takes every part. Quote the bottle, “with whole grapefruit including peel, juice, and pips.”
Pips? They’re the seeds, the rock hard stony little bits, often discarded are used by some for its supposed healing qualities. I’ll let you dig into the details if you’re so curious, but suffice to say when Sacred says “whole pink grapefruit,” they mean the whole damn pink grapefruit.
The nose is less one-note than you might expect by the name on the bottle. Certainly, some delicate hints of citrus, but lemon and grapefruit zest, as well as a pleasant traditional gin accord with a bit of juniper.
On the palate, there’s herbaceous juniper and plenty of ruby red grapefruit notes. I’m getting notes of white grapefruit fruit, ruby red grapefruit juice, lemon zest and a pleasantly, mildly astringent finish with piney juniper, bitter orange and a touch of coriander.
Though the mid-palate is literally grapefruit, there’s so much more going on in here that I hesitate to declare it merely a flavored gin; it’s more a gin which showcases the power of a single ingredient. It’s surprisingly balanced with a pleasant and delightful mouthfeel. I enjoy this a great deal just on its own.
Though I raved about it neat, I think that it’s a great mixing companion behind the bar as well. Even in a Greyhound, paired with grapefruit juice, it almost seems to add back the rest of the fruit, and adds some juniper and spice. Recommended for sure. But also the Tom Collins and Gin Fizz benefit from the grapefruit lift, which I think when paired with a lot of lemon, it almost becomes more vividly grapefruit. Absolutely delicious. And it’s worth sparing the citrus in your next Gin and Tonic, because it has a fresh, archetypal grapefruit flavor which pairs perfectly with a dash of quinine. It seemed to clash with some of the tonic syrups I tried it with, mostly because the vivacity and verve seemed obscured by thick notes of ginger and cinchona.
Bartenders will like the way it adds an unusual citrus brightness, even without fresh citrus. But more so the way it amplifies citrus to unusual affect.
There’s so much to like here: classic gin fans will appreciate the way Sacred Pink Grapefruit Gin still feels grounded in the classic gin accord. Contemporary gin fans will revel in the incredible grapefruit notes. But overall, I think gin fans across the board should take a closer look at Sacred Pink Grapefruit Gin, not just because it’s a great tool for sharing with friends about the power botanicals in white spirits can hold, but also because it’s a versatile gin that just tastes good, period. Recommended.