I can picture the meeting now: after a dozen sleepless hours trying to come up with a marketing gimmick that will appeal to both the Cosmopolitan-swilling urban female and the more discerning alcoholics among us, a young man in a pastel shirt jumps up from the table and says, “I got it!” His comrades, other young hacks with artfully disheveled hair, perk up. For hours, no one has been able to come up with anything clever, sexy, or seductive about a gin that doesn’t taste like gin. All the old saws have been pulled out and discarded; the familiar strategies of plunging necklines and speakeasy nostalgia exhausted. The man pauses for a moment, enjoying the warm glow of epiphany like a rattlesnake on a hot rock, and then unleashes the proverbial dragon: “Gin. It ends in ‘in’. How many words begin with ‘in’?” Blank stares around the wooden veneer. The man continues. “Invigorating? Inviting? Insistent?” Still, no one bites.
He folds his hands, and then spreads his fingers slowly part, indicating the enormity, the uncoiling serpentine length of this brilliant idea. “How about Ginvigorating? Ginviting?” He pauses again, allowing the proper time for this to sink in. The eyes flicker with recognition of the potency of a great hook. “We begin as many words as possible with gin! Think of the possibilities! So no matter how much this gin doesn’t actually taste like gin, we can use language—insanely clever language—to insist that it does!” The table hums, and then explodes with ginormous calamity of this fortuitous, gindustrious breakthrough.
I know, I know—it’s fish gin a barrel to make fun of the often preposterous marketing gimmicks of advertising agencies when it’s the spirit itself that really matters. So how about that spirit?
G’vine Gin is made from grapes; Ugni Blanc grapes from the Cognac region of France, to be precise. The neutral grape spirit is ginfused with nine botanicals—ginger roots, licorice, green cardamom, cassia bark, coriander, juniper berries, cubeb berries, nutmeg and lime—to give it the right gintessence.
You might be thinking, then, “Huh. So it’s like wine?” You’d be wrong though, because this is gin. How do I know? Because it smells like gin! Rosemary, juniper, the usual suspects. You might respond, “Oh! So like a flavored vodka?” Wrong agin, cowboy. This is gin. Made from grapes. That doesn’t really taste like gin.
What does it taste like? Well, when I was 15, I had bad skin, and I was sensitive about it. We didn’t have enough money for that fancy ass Clearasil stuff, so my Dad, ever sensitive to maintaining the delicate balance between economy and social humiliation, bought me a giant bottle of witch hazel from the old apothecary. I applied this daily to my face, and thanks to an unwieldy spout, managed to shoot myself in both my mouth and ocular cavities a few times. My acne didn’t go away, and neither did the taste of witch hazel. G’vine bears a remarkable similarity to witch hazel, but a bit fruitier and more expensive. Unfortunately, my mouth does not have pimples, so G’vine is of little use as an astringent.
I also gindeavored to make a cocktail with G’vine. I chose the coyly named “G-Spot” from their website. This saucy little cocktail features G’vine, sweet and sour mix (I subbed lemon juice because I blew all my sour mix making El Niño Margaritas from Chili’s last night), and Chambord. Sadly, this excursgin failed to produce any discernible flavor (outside of sweet), to say nothing of a face-melting, whole body orgasm that may or may not exist. A sad day in Mudville, gindeed.
There are people that G’vine will appeal to, however. They are called vodka drinkers, and there are more than enough of them at your local meat emporium to keep this thing afloat for another year or two, provided the marketing catches on. As a gin though, well, this is a ginsul…it isn’t very good. Pass.