Wine & Spirits

By Derek S. Gerard

Well, we’ve reached June and it’s rather warm out. This is how things go nowadays, it’s cold for four months and then BOOM its “refreshing cocktail season,” or “summer” as it’s known to most; and Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin is a refreshing, medicinally holistic way to improve your drinking life.

Produced by 35 Maple Street Spirits, Uncle Val’s is called “Botanical” because it is made with a curious amount of some non-traditional botanicals. This unique gin is concocted from juniper, cucumber, lemon, sage, and lavender. Even though that sounds like a recipe for poultry seasoning, it is totally amazing what spicy, yet soothing flavors come out of this quality gin. Up front, it’s citrusy and has strong sage and juniper notes, and the finish is spicy with the telltale juniper flavor that gin drinkers love.

Obviously, this tastes great in a puritanical gin and tonic (as they can taste alright even with the worst gin if made with fresh limes), but it also tastes amazing straight over ice or with olives added.

For a fun twist, try the Botanical Spritzer:

1 ½ oz. Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin
½ Fresh lime
½ oz. Simple syrup
Fresh mint

Method: In a shaker muddle mint, lime and simple syrup. Add Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin, ice and shake. Pour into a highball glass, top with soda and ice.

Honestly, try to tell yourself that you don’t want one – we know we do. For more info on this product and the company’s other spirits, check out the website at

Originally published June 2013
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