A Must-Have Gin

I didn't know what yerba mate was until a year ago when I visited Oaxaca and the chef at the restaurant where we were eating used the local herb to flavor one of the meat dishes. Typically consumed as a tea in Latin America, yerba mate is used in all sorts of regional beverages from healing elixirs to energy drinks, and it's cultivated heavily in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. One of the many reasons I love gin is because—in the spirits worldit's really as close as we can get to actual terroir with liquor. Different parts of the world grow different herbs, botanicals, and spices, which means each geographical location can put its own spin on the historic beverage. As new distilleries come online, each has the chance to add something new to the genre, or as Apostoles Mate brand owner Tato Giovannoni says, "New world gins move away from the strong wintery flavors of junipers and use it merely as a platform for more regional and contemporary notes."

Produced out of Mendoza, Argentina on a copper still in 200 liter batches, the Principe de los Apostoles gin uses yerba mate as well as other potent herbs from South America to offer an entirely new take on the spirit. It's absolutely delicious, full of fresh minty flavor and a vibrant finish that is both clean and savory. I'm totally enamored with it at the moment, both for its unique flavor and its geographical basis. I love that we're living in an age where new regions of the world can bring something new to the conversation. Most of all, I love that we were able to get our hands on some of this for all you K&L gin drinkers. Check it out:

Principe De Los Apostoles Mate Gin $32.99- The first premium gin from Argentina brings not only divine botanical flavor, but a marriage of fine herbs and spices not normally used in standard gin production. Yerba mate is a an herb derived from rain forest trees, and consumed primarily in Central and South America where it's made into a beverage called "mate". It is said to have the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate all in one. Made at a small distillery in Mendoza, Renato Giovannoni’s new project uses the famed yerba mate, as well as peppermint, eucalyptus, coriander, and pink grapefruit skin. The mouthfeel is creamy and soft, and the botanicals are potent, as flavors of spearmint, savory herbs, and bits of citrus wash over the palate to a clean and vibrant finish. This is the first must-have gin we've tasted this year. Mix it with tonic and add a sprig of eucalyptus for fun. It's absolutely divine. 

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll