“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.” (Casablanca, 1942, Humphrey Bogart). Oh, how I’ve always wanted to use that line. Circle of Food (Karyn Zoldan) was invited to a gin joint of sorts, a Tucson distillery, to taste desert-inspired gin at Three Wells Distilling Company.
For the record, I don’t even like gin but this gin I could savor and sip neat or over ice with a lemon twist and all would be right with the world…at least for the time being.
Gin Made from Scratch
So, what’s gin? Gin is a spirit with the “predominant flavor of juniper.” Gin can be made by infusing juniper and other botanicals in an already distilled spirit; by re-distilling a spirit with botanicals in a still; or by vapor infusion, a process of placing the botanicals in a column of the still or the vapor path and re-distilling the spirit through them. The easy way of making gin is to buy grain neutral spirits. Comparatively speaking Three Wells uses the vapor infusion method or making gin from scratch.
Our host Matt Montgomery, co-founder and distiller, is clearly a man who loves his job. Three Wells Distilling got its name as the corporate office is on Three Wells Court in Sahuarita and its third well is the water for the namesake’s handcrafted spirits.
Along with the juniper berries which are hand-picked on Mt. Lemmon, creosote is added to the heady botanical mix. Open the bottle and the unmistakable scent of desert rain teases your nose.
Every bottle is hand processed – mashed, fermented, distilled and bottled here in Tucson. Only one thousand bottles will be distributed at first. Connoisseurs take note as by next week (mid May 2016) you can find these bottles of craft gin at Rum Runner and Plaza Liquors and fine restaurants (Proper, for one) around town. Follow Facebook and the website for more information.