When you think of your favourite spirits, like whiskey, gin, or vodka, you might picture the classic ingredients like barley, corn, or potatoes. But did you know that there’s a whole world of unconventional grains and botanicals out there that can create unique and exciting flavour profiles in your drinks? Let’s take a journey through the world of spirit production and discover some distilleries that are shaking things up with these extraordinary ingredients.
Corsair Distillery, located in Tennessee, USA is known for their innovative approach to whiskey-making, and one of their standout creations is the Quinoa Whiskey. Instead of the usual corn or barley, they use quinoa, a nutritious grain that’s often found in salads. This unique choice adds a nutty and earthy flavour to the whiskey, with a subtle hint of spices.
The Botanist, a gin hailing from the wild landscapes of Islay, Scotland, takes experimenting with different botanical notes to a whole new level. They use a whopping 22 botanicals, including some you might not expect, like apple mint and gorse flowers. These additions give the gin a taste that’s both floral and herbal, with a touch of zesty citrus. It’s like a stroll through a Scottish garden on a sunny day.
In Mexico, where tequila rules the day, Mezcal is the crafty cousin that’s been gaining popularity worldwide. Del Maguey, a distillery known for its artisanal approach to Mezcal, uses a range of agave varieties to create distinct flavours. One of their special editions, the Del Maguey Pechuga, stands out by incorporating unconventional ingredients like wild mountain apples and plums during distillation. The result is a smoky, fruity, and slightly sweet Mezcal that’s as unique as it is delicious.
Bourbon is often associated with that sweet and slightly spicy taste, but have you ever tried oat whiskey? Balcones Distilling, a Texas-based distillery, loves to play around with grains. They make an Oat Bourbon that’s not just different; it’s delightful. The oat adds a creaminess to the whiskey, with a hint of sweetness and a mint. It’s a warm hug in a glass.
Vodka is known for its clean, neutral taste, but it can be a canvas for some unusual botanicals. Hangar 1 Vodka, located in California, offers an interesting twist with their Botanical Vodka. They blend their vodka with a variety of real herbs and botanicals like lavender and jasmine, giving it a gentle floral aroma and a subtly herbal taste. It’s like a fragrant walk through a serene garden.
In the world of spirits, creativity knows no bounds. Distilleries like Corsair, The Botanist, Del Maguey, Balcones, and Hangar 1 prove that by venturing beyond the usual ingredients, you can create truly exceptional and diverse flavour profiles. So, the next time you’re sipping your favourite drink, take a moment to appreciate the imagination and craftsmanship that go into these unconventional spirits.