Nothing beats a super refreshing G&T on a hot summers day – and these days its fun to get creative with botanicals and fresh herbs and even fruit and veg – but did you know that the brand that actually started the worldwide gin craze is none other than Aviation Gin – owned by Ryan Reynolds?
Yup, Aviation American Gin is handcrafted in small 100-case batches at the House Spirits Distillery in Portland, Oregon and their story harks back to 2006!
This is when American mixologist Ryan Magarian was trying to get creative and come up with cool alternatives and uses for gin beyond the usual martinis and G&Ts.
For inspiration, he turned to a cocktail that had been popular in the 1920s, shortly before the imposition of the Prohibition. Gin was the main ingredient of this drink, along with maraschino liqueur and a squeeze of fresh lemon – and this got Magarian thinking about the potential of gin as a base for other cocktails. His passion was shared by bartenders Medoff and Christian Krogstad and, after 30 attempts at making a spirit that encapsulated their unique ethos, the trio of co-founders hit upon the right flavour profile.
In the past, most gins distilled according the London Dry method have a heavy juniper flavour, botanicals are the first flavour note you’ll notice when you sip on Aviation Gin. A true pioneer, Aviation Gin was therefore the first of the increasingly popular New Western Dry Gins. What’s more, the break from tradition has created space for other distillers following in Aviation Gin’s wake to play with new and different ingredients, thus setting the scene for the craft gin explosion.
This is one of the many ways in which Aviation Gin has reshaped the industry, observes Rowan Leibbrandt of Truman & Orange. “The partnership between Magarian, Medoff and Krogstad, as bartenders and mixologists, was a first in the industry, and is something which sets Aviation Gin apart,” he comments. It doesn’t end there – the fact that Hollywood A-lister Ryan Reynolds enjoys the brand so much that he bought a stake in the company has helped to entrench it as a new American classic. Small wonder, then, that it’s the best-selling gin brand in its native United States.
Leibbrandt says that Truman & Orange is confident that the brand will enjoy the same success in South Africa, where it is available in leading liquor retailers at approximately R439 per bottle. “Aviation Gin’s fans love its smoothness. It’s softer and subtler than the gins consumers are familiar with, which makes it a great favourite among those who are new to drinking gin, or those who wish to sip it on the rocks – although it tastes just as good mixed in a cocktail,” he says.
Find out more about Aviation Gin right here…