Looking for a summerly addition to your gin collection to help quench your thirst when even Europe is basking in a tropical heat?
As you may already know, I am a huge fan of everything gin. A perfect drink year-round, there’s no better time for a refreshing gin tonic with lots of crushed ice then at the end of a scorching hot summer day.
One of my recent discoveries is the wonderful tropical Summer Gin from Wajos.
Like so many exciting new gin creations made in Germany, this summerly gin is made by one of the countries historic wineries who continue to expand their offering to the world of spirits; and particularly embracing small batch graft gin distilling.
Walter J. Oster winery is one of the stunning historic Mosel wineries, today led in the 15th generation by the Oster family.
The home of Walter J. Oster winery is the little wine town of Ediger-Eller at the foot of one of the steepest (with some actually claiming it’s the steepest) vineyard in the world, the famous Calmont overlooking one of many stunning Mosel turns. An area that should be on top of any wine lovers bucket list.
It definitely is on my own bucket list, because albeit I visited the Mosel wine region a couple of times, I never made it to the northern part of Germany’s oldest wine region, the so called Untermosel (lower Mosel) area.
Thankfully, Walter J. Oster is one of those German wineries led by a new generation of winemakers seriously embracing the concept of tasting rooms and tasting events, and the winery now operates several located throughout the whole Mosel region.
The little tasting room and wine shop nestled within the beautiful Hotel Moselschlösschen compound in Traban-Trarbach had me at first sight. Small and cosy, with not just wine but also a large range of products from liqueurs to olive oil, vinegar, mustards, spices, jams, honey, biscuits and, well yes, a cabinet full of different gins.
Walter J. Oster’s gin range is created at the winery’s sister company Wajos (short for Walter J. Oster) which the winemaker family founded in the 1980’s.
So, with several exciting sounding gins, including black coffee gin, Sanddorn gin, lemon thyme gin and raspberry gin, among others, where does one start?
Considering the time of the year, and the enticing tropical design, Summer Gin it was!
Wajos Summer Gin: Tasting Notes
Wajos Summer Gin is a New Western Dry Gin, or as some would prefer Contemporary Gin. The still fairly new category was created in the 2000s and describes gin that is much less juniper forward as a classic London Dry Gin would be. Although to be called gin, it still needs to have the characteristic juniper. But the focus of New Western Dry Gin is on ‘new’ botanicals including fruits, spices, plants, and even vegetables.
But back to the Summer Gin. It’s made with botanicals that like no others represent a tropical summer day including citrus, orange, pineapple, and passion fruit.
The base gin for this exciting summerly gin is macerated in a neutral base alcohol and then distilled in a copper still, resulting in a classic gin with spicy notes of juniper and rosemary. It then gets its exotic taste and delicate golden colour from the infusion of juicy oranges, passion fruit, and pineapple.
On the nose, the summer gin entices with a fresh exotic scent of sweet oranges, fruity pineapple, and fresh passion fruit, followed by subtle hints of spicy juniper and rosemary.
On the palate, sweet with spicy notes of juniper followed by a real explosion of tropical fruits dominated by ripe oranges followed by hints of passion fruit and pineapple, rounded off by notes of rosemary. The finish is led by tropical fruit and spicy notes with a hint of marzipan in the aftertaste.
Wajos Summer Gin can be enjoyed pure, over ice, as a classic gin tonic or mixed into tropical cocktails.
If you are looking for ideas to create exciting gin cocktails, head to the Wajos recipe site. You will be spoilt for choice, or simply try my personal favourites below.
Summer Gin Tonic
50 ml summer gin
150 ml tonic water
In a lowball glass, add gin and tonic water over ice. Garnish with rosemary and pineapple.
Blue Gin Cocktail
25 ml summer gin
25 ml Sambuca
15 ml Blue Curacao
Fill a highball glass with ice. Add gin, Sambuca, and Blue Curacao, then top up with tonic water. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
Do you have a favourite gin for summer?