Gin-tle Giant

Commonwealth Gin from James River Distillery in Richmond.

“It’s not your typical London dry gin,” says Kristi Croxton of Commonwealth Gin, the flagship product of James River Distillery, which Croxton founded with restaurateur Jonathan Staples and Flying Dog Brewery brewmaster Matt Brophy in early 2014. The distillery began production in May and released its first batch of gin for sale in August. While it incorporates traditional botanicals like juniper, coriander and cardamom, Commonwealth Gin is also infused with more unusual ingredients: fresh cantaloupe, ginger and, most notably, Amarillo and Cascade hops. Head distiller Dwight Chew has extensive brewing experience, so he is familiar with the power of hops—many tipplers may find the citrusy and floral punch they bring to the gin a refreshing departure. “I really knew I wanted to use hops in the recipe and make a traditionally-inspired but really unique American gin … I wanted to make a gin that I wanted to drink.” $33.90 per 750-milliliter bottle. JRDistillery.com


Vitae Spirits was selected as a winner in our 2014 Made in Virginia Awards. Click here to view the full list of winners.


Negroni


James River Distillery, Richmond

1 ounce Commonwealth Gin
1 ounce campari
1 ounce sweet vermouth

Combine all ingredients in an old-fashioned or rocks glass and stir. Garnish with an orange peel. JRDistillery.com
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