All is not lost
Today we’re writing about something rather exciting: not only a new gin from That Boutique-y Gin Company, but a product that has been lost for over half a century. “Crème de Juniper” -
originally styled as Crème de Genevieve (a type of liqueur and nothing to do with dairy) - has
been updated for the 21st Century and renamed to highlight what this product is all about:
Just as Crème de Mure (the essential ingredient for a Bramble) focuses on blackberries, and
the lurid green hue of Crème de Menthe screams, “Mint!”, Crème de Juniper is focused on the
small, unassuming juniper berry.
The product is inspired by descriptions of a long-lost liqueur, once described as:
“... a juniper-flavored liqueur made from distilled juniper, which is then matured in casks
and sweetened with sugar.”
Crème de Juniper - How do I drink it?
Crème de Juniper is not just a liqueur but a “crème”*, which means that it’s pretty sweet. It can
be drunk either on its own or used as a base for mixed drinks. It can also be used as a
substitute for sugar syrup in gin cocktails such as the White Lady or Gin Sour to give a turbo-
boost of juniper complexity. We’ve come up with a few suggestions for mixed drinks to try
A modern-day recreation
To bring this product to market, That Boutique-y Gin Company teamed up with Spirit Works
Distillery in California, USA, and their Head Distiller, Lauren Patz, aka the Dr. (Indiana**) Jones
of gin. It uses Spirit Works’ wheat vodka as a base and, true to historical accuracy, the gin has
one botanical: juniper. It is then rested in casks; in this case, casks that once held Spirit Works’
Wheat Whiskey. It’s bottled at a hearty 46% ABV - none of this low 20% stuff for us!
Now, this concept alone is a fine idea, but it wasn’t quite enough for Boutique-y Gin!
Musical barrels - what’s the story behind these?
On a visit to the distillery, one of our Boutique-y agents noticed some whiskey barrels that had
headphones and mp3 players strapped to their sides. We know that the life of a barrel can be
dull one, but do they really need mood music?
These are special edition barrels that are mostly used in various distillery tastings where
participants sample a whisky aged both with and without the tunes. Once a member of staff has
worked at Spirit Works for 6 months, they get to choose an album to play to a barrel.
It’s already established that vibrations (essentially micromovements) have an impact upon how
much influence the wood of a barrel has on the aging of the spirit inside it. As such, the music -
in particular the bass line - does make a difference and I’m reliably informed that most people
spot it in the comparative tastings.
Given that our Crème de Juniper needed to be matured in casks, it seemed only fitting that it
was accompanied by an appropriate soundtrack. But what to play? The obvious answer was a
playlist made up of songs featuring the word “gin”. Where to find such a playlist? Step in, friend
and colleague, Dame Keli Rivers: Gin Tsar and perhaps the ultimate gin geek.
The Crème de Juniper label shows Head Distiller Lauren “Lolly” Patz kicking back her heels in a
recording studio, sipping a glass of the spirit, fresh from the barrel. The barrel is equipped with
its headphones and music player. Alongside Lauren are dogs Bandit and Echo; seemingly
unphased by a giant anthropomorphic cat next door, they’re just getting down with the groove.
Meanwhile, in the recording booth, which is also the distillery, four individuals are cutting the
latest track to play to the barrel. From right to left they are: Timo Marshall, co-founder of Spirit
Works; Gin Tsar Keli Rivers; and Ashby Marshall, co-founder of Spirit Works. Even our own
Boutique-y Gin Old Tom has gotten in on the action; well, he was “Born to do It”.
On the Rocks
A really pleasant way to enjoy the gin. The ice helps to cut through the sweetness and bring out
the green leafiness of the liqueur, as well as some of the menthol spice; this is exceptionally
complex given that juniper is its only botanical. Hints of cubeb berries and Grains of Paradise
appear on the finish, along with blood orange, grapefruit, and vanilla panna cotta.
Named after the state where Spirit Works is based, this is a variation on the classic French ‘75.
15-20ml Crème de Juniper
100ml Dry Sparkling Wine
Two-three dashes of Orange Bitters.
Add ingredients, in order, to a Champagne flute.
A simple drink where the fruity orange works well with both the spicy juniper and the fragrant
aromas carried by the bubbles of the wine. A lovely choice for a special occasion or celebration.
50 ml Your Gin of Choice
20 ml Crème de Juniper
10 ml Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
Shake and fine-strain into a cocktail glass.
A marvellous upgraded version of the standard Gimlet. The liqueur adds sweetness, but also
rich juniper and pine notes and a gentle spice from the barrel, all of which work wonderfully with
the gin and lime juice. Refreshing, complex, delightful, and well worth a try.
30ml Creme de Juniper
20ml Lemon Juice
Egg white (optional)
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass and strain into an ice-filled tumbler.
A refreshing and tart drink, well-suited to lazy, hot summer afternoons. If you fancy a longer
drink, lengthen with some sparkling water or tonic. For a fun variation, you can also substitute
the lemon juice for ruby grapefruit juice.
About Spirit Works
Spirit Works is based in the Californian city of Sebastopol, about 60 miles north of San
Francisco in the heart of wine country. The distillery was opened by Ashby and Timo Marshall.
Ashby is from the US West Coast, whereas Timo is originally from the southwest of the UK. The
distillery captures US Pacific-coast avant-guard with British tradition (eccentricity) in equal
Founded in 2013, the distillery produces a range of delicious grain-to-glass spirits and liqueurs
including: vodka, gin, sloe gin, barrel-rested sloe gin, aged gin, Old Tom gin, Straight Rye
whiskey, and Straight Wheat whiskey.
* Liqueurs must contain a minimum of 100g of sugar per litre, whereas Crèmes must contain a
minimum of 250g per litre.
** Technically Henry Jr..