- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Its name means “valley of two lakes” in Gaelic, and its label depicts St. Kevin, the sixth century monk who founded a monastery in the nearby glacial depression amid the Wicklow Mountains located south of Dublin. But whatever name it takes, Glendalough, the first craft distillery out of Ireland, is getting in on the action to put their unique spin on that ancient drink of the Emerald Isle (the name “whiskey” itself comes from the Gaelic “uisge beatha,” meaning “water of life”).

But it’s not just whiskey. In fact, Glendalough is also busy pouring its Wild Botanical Gin, a small-batch liquid that offers a truly botanical nose and a full taste that can be enjoyed neat, over rocks or even in a cocktail, as D.C. brand ambassador Brendan Crowley explained over drinks at Logan Tavern in Northwest.

Mr. Crowley, a native of Ireland now based in the nation’s capital, told The Washington Times that the crops of Wicklow, known as the “Garden of Ireland,” lend Glendalough a different taste profile for each “season,” with forward elderflower and ox eye daisies for summer and sloe berries and pine for the colder months. Glendalough distiller and Wicklow native Geraldine Kavanaugh in fact forages through Wicklow’s forests in search of the freshest wild botanicals, which are never dried before being added into the mixing process that will eventually become the gin.

Accordingly, for the summer, Mr. Crowley recommends the Bees Knees, a fine cocktail that features the Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin, lemon, honey and a lemon twist. Given the District’s rather hot year, this cocktail brings out the citrus profile for a refreshing drink that also features a kick.

Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin is now available at bars throughout the District, including Left Door,

The Heights and Kapnos. The Passenger and Bar Deco, both in Northwest, have taken this craft gin one step further by fashioning specialty cocktails featuring this prize from the Wicklow Mountains. At The Passenger, Bar Manager Jade Aldrighette has created “WIG’N’IT,” containing 2 oz. Wild Botanical Gin, 1 oz. Antica Torino Vermouth and a lemon peel garnish. And over at Bar Deco, Beverage Director Michael Rovezzi has unveiled a “Glendalough All Spice Gin Ricky,” fashioned from 0.5 oz. Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin, 1.05 oz. Cotton and Reed, 0.5 oz. lime juice, 0.25 simple syrup and a lime garnish.

Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin is also available for retail at District stores such as S and R Liquors and D’vines.

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