I recently made a rather tasty (if I do say so myself) gin punch to share among friends during a swelteringly sun-drenched picnic in the park. Macerated berries in gin plus mint plus lemonade and sparkling white wine was a perfect recipe for refreshment to beat the heat. However, I usually take a much more low-key approach to constructing cocktails—my ideal process involves finding a glass and opening one bottle. Enter today's spirit: Bluecoat American Dry Gin, a punch in a bottle.
Produced by Philadelphia Distilling, Bluecoat has enough flavors to stand up on its own. Playing on revolutionary imagery, this gin definitely throws off the shackles of the traditionally British dominated spirit. It's distilled from rye, wheat, barley, and corn in copper pot stills, and then flavored with all organic botanicals (the usual suspects—juniper, citrus peels, and spices). And the result is definitely worth a cracked liberty bell.
Pouring crystal clear with good legs, the first whiff is a citrus-bomb: lemon, grapefruit, orange. There's a floral backdrop with a hint of the corn, and a very pleasant musty leather note (I think it's the first time I've ever smelled leather in a gin!). Upon first sip, the juniper makes an appearance, but is still second fiddle to all the citrus flying around, and then mint sings a little ditty in the background with some pepper spice. It finishes long and soft, with minerals and spices gently sliding down your throat. It's not a very hot gin at all—a dangerously drinkable 94 proof.
This stuff is simply fantastic gin in the new American style. It would also be lovely in a citrusy cocktail, but all you need for a nice (strong) punch is an ice cube and maybe a sprig of mint for a garnish. Break out a nice bar of dark chocolate and sip away your hot summer nights.