Gin drinkers of Minnesota, rejoice. The new golden age of juniper spirits is only getting better. This week, Du Nord Craft Spirits will become the fifth Minnesota microdistillery to release a gin.
Fitzgerald Gin will hit retail shelves on Friday, and will evolve for the first year of its lifetime. “We’re hoping to produce two to four or five different gins over the next year or two,” says Shanelle Montanta. “We’ll have people come in to the cocktail room and try them together. We want to get people’s input, tweak the recipes, have people vote, and then zero in on one final Fitzgerald gin.”
The Fitzgerald formula No. 1 is certainly in the vein of a classic, juniper-forward London Dry Gin. There’s also a compelling citrus note from coriander and granulated lemon. Some dark, earthy anise notes even creep in on the finish. The base alcohol for the spirit comes from the same distillation as their first product, L’Etoile Vodka.
“The idea is to start with something classic,” says Chris Montana. “And then for the next formula, switch styles into something more New World. Gin is just like whiskey, you may like a certain style, and not another. Do people want the classic juniper or do they want a spirit that leads with something else?”
Du Nord is also moving forward with their cocktail room buildout, hoping to pour drinks at their distillery as soon as late September. Further on the horizon for Du Nord: experiments with bourbon and rye whiskey, and a local apple spirit (which could potentially be anything from a spiced apple pie liqueur, to an apple brandy or eau de vie).