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Letherbee's new Vernal Gin is tiki-inspired

Amy Cavanaugh
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Amy Cavanaugh
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Each spring and fall, Logan Square's Letherbee Distillers releases a seasonal gin. I'm a huge fan of these, and past styles have included a gin with the flavors of tonic water. This season's gin is a special one—it's inspired by Lost Lake bartender Paul McGee and the current tiki renaissance in Chicago.

Distiller Brenton Engel emailed us that the 2015 Vernal Gin has "tropical and savory profiles of papaya, pineapple and toasted coconut," with "a lush bouquet of vanilla, pink peppercorn and peeled rambutan." This is a gin designed for cocktails, and Letherbee suggests using it for daiquiris, juleps and martinis.

Gin isn't a huge player in tiki recipes, but one of my all-time favorite tiki cocktails is the Saturn, made with gin, passionfruit, lemon, falernum and orgeat, so I'd love to try it out with this gin.

The new gin debuts tomorrow at Lost Lake, with a tasting from 4–8pm. Sample the new spirit, drink it in a gin daiquiri and take home a bottle. 

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