Ahh gin...How do I love thee! Let me count the ways...
Maryland’s short spring is changing to a sweltering summer, and that means only one thing: It’s time for some summertime drinks…and gin…beautiful, beautiful gin.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing against packing a cooler full of ice and beer for a day on the beach or by the lake. But sometimes you want something elevated to sip by the pool.
Since it’s summer, and summer is for being outdoors, let’s talk about gin — it’s a spirit that brings with it the scents and sense of being outdoors.
Since we are from Maryland, it is hard to talk about gin and not reference Forager Gin from McClintock Distilling in Frederick, Maryland. Forager is their signature spirit — and it. is. heavenly.
Forager is true to its name as it’s created with a blend of botanicals that are inspired by the kind of wild plants that would be found by someone foraging in the nearby Appalachian Mountains. It boasts a strong juniper nose with notes of citrus and flower. The finish is earthy with some juniper, to compliment the sweeter tastes of the flowers and citrus.
For the full experience, we recommend making the trip to downtown Frederick, MD to check out the distillery and sample the gin before buying a bottle. You can chat with someone working behind the bar who had a hand in making the bottle you’re drinking from, and they’ll show you a card that lists every single ingredient.
The cost for a bottle is about average for a craft gin, and it’s well worth every penny for an award-winning gin that’ll make you feel like you’re walking through a mountaintop forest when you smell it.
And, for a limited time, you can snag a bottle of McClintock Distilling’s Forager Gin that’s been slightly modified with more orange zest and heavier spices that was aged for four months in a used XO Cognac cask imported from France. The unique golden-yellow hue and cinnamon finish is definitely worth the extra cost.
Now that we’ve ranted and raved about this one particular gin, let’s talk about a drink to make with it. There are plenty, but there’s one that fits best for sipping by the pool: a gimlet.
The recipe is simple:
Combine your ingredients and shake, and serve up or on the rocks. If you’re sitting by the pool or on a lakeside deck, we recommend rocks to keep things nice and cool.
I cannot finish this article and not write a ton about how much we absolutely love Frederick, Maryland. It is honestly the best kept secret around. However, we are happy to see that the secret is starting to get out. Frederick is the fastest-growing town in the state, and for good reason.
It sits about an hour north of DC, and a 45-minute easy drive west from Baltimore. The town is full of history as it played a large part in both the Antietam and Gettysburg campaigns, as well as a little known battle just southeast of the town near Monocacy, MD. As much as we have talked about how fantastic McClintock Distilling is, they aren’t the only game in town.
On the way from Baltimore to Frederick is MISCellaneous Distillery in Mt. Airy, Maryland, as well as Dragon Distillery and Tenth Ward Distilling Company in Frederick city. There are also two cideries, one meadery and fifteen breweries at last count!
While we have not visited all of these, we definitely will revisit this article in the near future. We recently visited the cideries and meadery, and have much to talk about (what…we don’t always drink cocktails!)
If you can’t jump in a car/plane/train/segway and get to Frederick, seek out Forager Gin from your local spirits store. If they don’t carry the spirit, it never hurts to lobby the store owner to see if their distributor can track a few bottles down. This goes for any craft spirit for that matter. You would be surprised to find that it never hurts to ask!
Enjoy these last few days of spring as well as those gimlets. Cheers!