With summer quickly approaching, I find myself daydreaming of sipping ice-cold gin cocktails in the warmth of the sun. But in San Francisco, where sunshine can be quite elusive, I may have to settle for just the cocktail. Fortunately, I have a bottle of this quarter’s selection, Condesa Clásica, to enjoy in the warmth or the fog. It is distilled at Flor de Luna Distillery, a female-operated distillery in the heart of Mexico City. The botanicals, foraged from throughout Mexico, are inspired by the curandera (healer) traditions of the local area. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I always feel a wonderful sense of well-being after sipping this gin. My hunch is I won’t be the only one!
Condesa Clásica Gin
Origin: Mexico City
Hillhamn Salome founded Flor de Luna Distillery in 2015 when she was only 18 years old. As the maestra destiladora (master distiller), her goal is to support women in the alcohol industry. Indeed, the distillery production team consists of five women, including herself. The first product they launched was Xila Licor de Agave, a mezcal-based spiced liqueur which quickly garnered numerous awards. Currently, the distillery acts as a sort of incubator for new spirits created by women.
In 2021, Flor de Luna released Condesa Clásica Gin. It is named after La Condesa, a neighborhood in Mexico City known for its tree-lined streets and European feel. The base distillate of the gin is made from corn, rye, wheat, and barley sourced in Mexico. It is distilled on two copper pot stills custom built for Flor de Luna. The botanicals are sourced in Mexico, with some even coming from Hillhamn’s own garden. A two-day maceration of juniper, sage, coriander, elderflower, lavender, rosemary, cedron, lime & orange zest is run on one of the two stills to create a botanical concentrate which is then brought to proof with water and alcohol. A tincture of palo santo, myrrh, and jasmine is created separately before being added to the first distillate.
In addition to the Mexican-sourced botanicals, the materials for the bottle and label are all sourced in Mexico.
Distiller: Hillhamn Salome
Botanicals: Botanicals are sourced in Mexico and include juniper, palo santo, white sage, jasmine, coriander, elderflower, lavender, rosemary, cedron, myrrh, lime & orange zests.
Tasting Notes: Classically familiar, yet wildly distinct, Condesa Clásica Extra Dry Gin expands from a powerful baseline of juniper to explore particular Mexican aromatics and spiritual traditions simultaneously. Palo santo, sage, and jasmine lead the way in this unique but approachable gin.
1 ½ oz Condesa Clasica Gin
⅔ oz white port
1 dash orange bitters
⅓ oz oleo saccharum (recipe below)
2 oz tonic water
4 oz soda water
Place 160g lemon peel (of c. 16 medium lemons) and 600g sugar in a sealed bag. Leave at room temperature for 6-12 hours until completely dissolved. Refrigerate.
Build drink in a Collins or Highball glass over ice. Lightly stir and garnish with a thin slice of celery. Express a grapefruit peel over the top for added aromatics.
1 oz Condesa Clasica Gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth (we recommend Dolin Rouge)
Add ingredients to mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over a large cube. Garnish with an orange twist.