In this club, we explore the nearly endless combinations of botanicals that are found in gins from across the world. While the flavors they create can vary widely, we can reasonably expect our gin is going to be a clear, unaged spirit that contains juniper. New Alchemy Distilling’s Fleurette Vermilion Gin turns part of that notion on its head. It is infused with hibiscus flowers, which impart a striking color that is somewhere between crimson and maroon. On the palate, the tart and floral qualities of hibiscus overlay a base of traditional gin botanicals. The fun of this gin is not only in its unique flavor but in the gorgeous color it will give your drinks!
New Alchemy Fleurette Vermilion Gin
Origin: El Dorado Hills, CA
New Alchemy Distilling is a small distillery in the foothills of Northern California focusing on robust botanical spirits, many of which are produced using a base spirit distilled from local wine. Distiller-owned and operated, it was founded by former research scientists. New Alchemy has a portfolio demonstrating experimentation in tastes and flavors, which has garnered them numerous awards, including three best-in-class spirits.
Vermilion is the hibiscus-infused version of their Fleurette Gin. It has a striking deep red, almost purple color, from an infusion of hibiscus petals, which hints at the depth of flavor in this bright, floral, and tart spirit. The inspiration for Vermilion comes in part from sloe gin, a tart, sweet gin liqueur traditionally made in Britain with sloe berries (a relative of plums). A touch of rose and honey reinforce the floral notes and sweet aromas of the gin. Due to its intricacy, this exquisite gin can only be produced in batches of roughly 100 bottles at a time.
From the distillery: “We wanted to bring something new to the category; sloe fruit doesn’t have a place in the consciousness of the western United States, but hibiscus does. Especially in Latin American culture, hibiscus adds a tart, tannic influence in both food and beverage traditions. We feel hibiscus grounds Vermilion Gin in Californian culture and place. Still off-dry, though less sweet than sloe gins on the market, it works in a Sloe Gin-style fizz, but also fits in with cocktails such as Negronis, French 75s, and Clover Clubs.”
Distiller: Matt Sweeney, PhD
Botanicals: Vapor-distilled botanicals including two varieties of juniper, coriander, cardamom, chamomile, violet, lemon peel, orange peel, white peppercorn, and spike lavender. Hibiscus infused post-distillation. Base spirit distilled from local wine grapes.
Tasting Notes: Tart and tannic hibiscus, like a young red wine. Distinct floral and citrus notes over a body of juniper.
1.5oz Fleurette Vermillion Gin
0.25oz Yellow Chartreuse
0.25oz Honey Syrup (see below for recipe)
0.5oz Lemon Juice
2oz Brut Cava
Honey Syrup: Combine equal parts honey and warm water. Stir to incorporate.
Directions: Combine all ingredients except Cava in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain over fresh ice into bee pollen rimmed wine glass. Top with Brut Cava. Garnish with Lemon Wheel.
Tuxedo No. 2
2.25oz Fleurette Vermillion Gin
0.5oz Blanc Vermouth
0.25oz Maraschino Liqueur
4 dashes Orange Bitters
Directions: Rinse a chilled glass (martini or coupe) with Absinthe and discard excess. Combine all remaining ingredients in a glass with ice and stir until properly chilled. Strain into prepared glass. Garnish with an orange twist or maraschino cherry.