Freeland Spirits is becoming synonymous with its raindrop-shaped blue gin bottles. Alongside the memorable blue bottles available this month, the new distillery, set to open with a Northwest Portland tasting room in July, is included in the only 1 percent of distilleries in the U.S. that are owned by women.
Freeland’s gin was launched in December by Jill Kuehler and Molly Troupe with contributions from Cory Carman, co-owner of Carman Ranch that will grow grain for Freeland’s whiskey. Although the distillery space isn’t operational yet, gin is produced at nearby Martin Ryan Distilling, makers of Aria gin. It might be the company’s “equal opportunity drinking” mentality or the branding that has reeled in Portland, but the gin has staying power, too.
Unlike most on the market due to the process by which it’s made, the gin also has a contemporary yet balanced profile. Both traditional, and less common vacuum distilling are used. “Since Molly was in graduate school for distilling, she was scheming her gin recipe using vacuum distillation,” Kuehler says. “At the same time, I really wanted a gin that featured fresh ingredients, like it came straight from [grandmother] Meemaw Freeland’s garden.”
One of those fresh ingredients? Cucumber. Often added to gin cocktails, cucumber is added in the distilling process by Troupe, along with juniper and 13 other botanicals. Try this cocktail at home to highlight the cucumber already in the gin, after securing a bottle of your own tomorrow (details below).
Recipe developed by Long Distance Cocktail Club
1/2 lime, cut into four wedges
5 slices cucumber
3/4 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces Freeland Gin
Dash of salt
Muddle the lime, cucumber and simple together. Top with ice and the gin, garnish with a cucumber and a dash of salt.
Get your hands on a blue bottle of Freeland Spirits gin on Friday, March 16, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Nightwood Society in Portland. Free hors d’voeuvres and $5 cocktails will be available.