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5 local gins to toast International Gin and Tonic Day

It seems like the simplest of cocktails, but it is one that always rates highest on bartenders’ most respected drink lists. It has been the choice of kings and queens, and you too may revel in its simple effervescent majesty this weekend.

International Gin and Tonic Day is Saturday, April 9, 2016.

To celebrate, break out of the ordinary and try some of the finest artisan gins our state has to offer. You can find these Colorado craft gins at liquor stores with large local spirit sections.

Spirit Hound Gin

The casual little mountain town of Lyons is home to this growing distillery. Freshly picked juniper berries from the banks of the St. Vrain River mingle with essences of anise, clove, cinnamon, and cardamom to flavor this fresh, clean spirit.

Spring 44 Mountain Gin

This Loveland distiller is renowned for their vodkas, including a honey version, but also bottles three varieties of gin. The Mountain Gin is their tribute to the Rocky Mountain region. A harmonious blend of juniper, coriander, orris root, orange peel, kaffir lime leaf, and Spring 44’s own artesian mineral spring make this a delightful nip with a gentle kiss of smooth basil and peppermint in its finish.

Leopold Brothers Navy Strength Gin

I have never had a disappointing bottle of any of the Denver-based Leopold Brothers’ products. The Navy Strength Gin not only bucks up the alcohol proof to 100, but doubles all the botanicals as well for twice the flavor. An exceptional gin to sturdy any cocktail that is warming but not overwhelming.

Vapor Rhok Gin

The flagship offering of Boulder’s best distillery, Rhok is an incredibly balanced, New Western style gin that is easy on the juniper and blended with eleven organic botanicals from around the globe. Small batch distilled in a Spanish copper pot still, Rhok is a winner of seven national and international gold level awards.

Earning honorable mention for their innovation, Vapor also makes a unique barrel-rested version of Rhok known as Ginskey that is aged for a minimum of two years in new charred American oak casks to give it the smoky warmth and barrel spice flavors associated with whiskey.

Anvil Ironface Gin

Voted Colorado Gin Distillery of the Year at the 2015 New York International Spirits Competition, Anvil Distillery of Longmont is quickly earning a big reputation. They use their white corn-based vodka as the base for their gin, gathering the flavors from nine different organic botanicals in a mix inspired by a traditional colonial recipe which complements the sweetness of the white corn with touches of licorice and citrus.

All of these noteworthy Colorado distilleries would be great places to tour this Saturday. If you can’t swing a visit, be sure to treat yourself to a bottle and raise a glass to International Gin and Tonic Day 2016.