In all seriousness, our home bar has been getting pretty picked over lately and we'd been saving our extra money for Christmas gifts and holiday travel, not on restocking our bourbon supply. So it was such a treat to open a box on Christmas morning with a few new bottles I'd never heard of, namely this Rusty Blade Gin from San Francisco.
The first thing I noticed about the gin is it's brown—it looks like it belongs much more in the whiskey camp than it does the gin camp. As I began to read up on it, my interest was piqued even further. Local fruits and spices are extracted using a three-part distillation process in a copper pot still; the gin is aged in French Oak, giving it time to settle into its characteristic color and warm flavor profile. The result? A gin that still has the botanical flavors I love, but with a heavier hand of citrus, cinnamon and warm ginger. How to use it? I've been using it in cocktails just as you would bourbon, whiskey, scotch or brandy. It's wonderful neat with a little ice or stirred into a Manhattan or Old Fashioned.
Related: Spotlight on Gin: Some New Favorites
(Image: Megan Gordon)