The full name of this one is a beast— Crafthouse Cocktails Gin and Tonic Highball Lime Spritz. Bottled at a robust 10% ABV, it adds lime and house made tonic with “no added sugar”. Their line of highballs were designed in collaboration with famed bartender Charles Joly.
Color: Perfectly clear
Aroma: The nose has lime— specifically the aroma of shelf stable lime juice like Rose’s. The aroma is distinctively gimlet-like as opposed to gin and tonic like.
Flavor: Moderate sized bubbles with a light effervescence. They’re heavily concentrated on the front of the palate and quickly dissipate.
Surprisingly earthy with hints of spice throughout. Coriander and lemon curd, with hints of cinnamon and ginger. The underlying gin comes through at a moderate volume early and gets louder. You’ll taste the juniper in here, but later it’s baking spice that comes through suggesting apple pie with cassia and nutmeg.
All of this happens with a restrained sweetness that is on the low side compared to many other RTDs.
Finish: Mild bitterness with hints of apple pie spice and Rose’s Lime Juice. No astringency— the finish is clean and extremely long.
Overall, Crafthouse Gin and Tonic
The Crafthouse Line has a bevy of good cocktails— even for the gin fan. However, for me their highball gin and tonic fails to live up to the high bar they’ve created for themselves.
The underlying gin has some less traditional facets. However, it’s not just that it’s less juniper-forward and more spice-forward. The overall balance is off. Their choice of lime flavor here is less successful, although it can be greatly ameliorated with the use of fresh lime.
I do like the restrained sweetness and mild bitterness, however, there’s so many good canned gin and tonics out there, that Crafthouse’s Highball is hard to recommend, especially when situated within their otherwise quite excellent line of RTD’s.