This summer I’ve rediscovered the beauty of “sippin’ and strollin’.” So far the highlight of my summer of sippin’ has been my evening enjoying the night glow of the Chihuly in the Garden 2023, where thousands of pieces of blown glass are lit up on a grand scale. While I was sipping on a bourbon cocktail from STL Barkeep, the options for everyone just grew considerably, especially for fans of gin. This week, 1220 Spirits and the Missouri Botanical Garden announced they are partnering to create a spirit, New World Gin.
“New World gin merges classic juniper and coriander paired with a handpicked selection of locally grown botanicals,” the duo said in a statement.
On the sip, it opens with bright citrus and bergamot notes that give way to floral flavors of elderflower and rose hips and finish with subtle essences of calamus and echinacea.
“Spirits, wine and beer crafted with both native and cultivated plants have provided a botanical dialect to human celebrations for thousands of years,” says Dr. Quinn Long, Director of Shaw Nature Reserve and lead Garden consultant on the native plants featured in this limited release. “This partnership offers a special opportunity to experience some of the unique flavors available in the diverse plants of our region. Various species of juniper, bergamot, and rose have a long history of culinary and medicinal uses in both Eurasia and North America. The aromatic spice of echinacea imparts this gin with a distinctive regional essence, complemented by notes of citrus.”
In reflecting on the creative process of distilling a gin in partnership with the Missouri Botanical Garden, Andy Burgio, 4 Hands Brewing Company and 1220 Spirits’ director of innovation said, “It’s been amazing working with the Missouri Botanical Garden. We are beyond excited to design a gin that will let people taste the garden. The selected botanicals provide complex layers of flavors including big citrus and floral notes from the bergamot and rose hips.”
Toky, the design firm responsible for 1220 Spirits’ beautiful branding, created a label that’s symbolic of the windows of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Linnean House, the oldest continuously operated public greenhouse west of the Mississippi River and a source of inspiration for the botanicals used in the gin. The back label, which is visible through the bottle, showcases both the garden and the botanical elements.
“The Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the most precious institutions in the region and we’re honored to be a collaborative partner,” said Kevin Lemp, founder of 4 Hands Brewing Company and 1220 Spirits. “Being able to have our team work with such an important stakeholder and cheerleader for St. Louis is an absolute thrill! We’re grateful for the opportunity and excited for what’s to come.”
Taste Missouri Botanical Garden Gin and meet the 1220 Spirits team during an official launch event at The Vandy, one of St. Louis’ premiere craft cocktail bars, on Thursday, July 20, at 5 pm. Bottles will be available for purchase and STL Barkeep is creating a special cocktail menu featuring the collaborative gin to celebrate. Additionally, opportunities to try the collaborative gin and purchase bottles will come during Spirits at the Garden, a series of Sunday afternoon events hosted by the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Bottles of Missouri Botanical Garden Gin are currently available in the 4 Hands Brewing Company tasting room at 1220 S. 8th Street, St. Louis, Missouri, and will be in stores throughout the area soon.