It was almost like a birthday. This past Friday, June 14, 2019, Mythology Distillery brought forth onto our otherwise beer and whiskey soaked landscape, a new gin, conceived in Colorado, juniper forward and built with mountain botanicals, dedicated to the proposition that not all gin is created equal.
And it isn’t, but we’re so happy to see a resurgence of gin (note that we’ll be writing about the new Scottish Kings gin for our August issue).
Mythology distillery’s new gin is called Needle Pig. That’s right, essentially a porcupine, but much cooler. I started off with a straight sample and I’m happy to say that, while the botanical florals were definitely strong, which makes for a much more lovely scent than the traditional hydrogen peroxide nose of a lot of gins, the florals weren’t overwhelming in the mouth and lend themselves well to the cocktails.
Shout out the mixologist – we hung out with Kelsey Berry, the bar manager and general bar nuance know-it-all – here at Mythology and special shoutout to the cocktails concocted; we love a great new take on traditionals and we always love to try something new. They have it all here for you. The Hazy Gin and Tonic comes with either citrus, floral, or earthy tonic, all of which are made in house. You read that right: the tonic itself is made in house from scratch. It is not, as we’ve seen at many a bar, store bought tonic infused with lemon peels or lavender or what have you. As a fan of the classic G&T, especially as the world warms up and my boozy needs switch to clearer concerns, the citrus tonic G&T I had was glorious; a definite favorite of the day and one I’ll be sure to enjoy as the days get longer and warmer.
Speaking of which, Summer officially starts on June 21st, notably our editors birthday, and it’s coming up quickly, which necessitates an ice cube or two to stay cool as you sip. The Violet Beauregarde is made with gin, lemon, ginger simple, and pea flower ice. Pea flower, Kelsey tells me, is commonly used in teas. Butterfly-pea flower tea is commonly known as Blue Tea made from a decoction or infusion of the flower petals or even whole flower of the Clitoria ternatea plant. While that all sounds organic and intense, let’s get back to cocktails. Pea flower powder is steeped, then frozen, to be used as ice cubes in this extremely elegant libation. Pea flower ice changes the color of the cocktail over time (should you babysit your cocktail long enough) turning it the violet of the pea flower. It does little to the flavor, however, meaning you get to focus your palate on the gin and simple.
Violet Beauregarde, it should be noted, is not the character in Gone With the Wind, as I originally guessed. Violet is the 12 year old made famous in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, originally played by Denise Nickerson in 1971 and later by AnnaSophia Rob in 2005. In the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Violet Beauregarde was a famous chewing gum champion who couldn’t help eating the three-course-meal bubblegum Wonka hadn’t quite perfected, resulting in a blueberry fiasco and subsequent juicing. She turned bright violet, not unlike the cocktail.
To be fair, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Beauregarde, as lovely as it was. I’m going to assume it’s the ginger simple that made it a little intense for me. While this drink was definitely drinkable – and will be the fave of many with more sophisticated palates than mine – I was a little shocked by the difference in drinkability between this and the G&T I started with. It really jumped up intensity. I’ve never really gone for citrus heavy, ginger forward flavors, so that’s definitely on me.
My final cocktail was the Gin Fizz, which was almost half fizz, topped with lavender seeds. Because of the heavy fizz, I was forced to tip my glass much heavier than I wanted, until the bartender stopped and reminded me I can scoop the fizz and consume that on it’s own. What’s that? A little h’orderve to go with my drink? I’ll take it. This was a fantastic cocktail and I’m glad to have saved it for last. It was a serious dessert drink for me and the perfect way to end an afternoon of gin cocktails.
Last thoughts? Well, the names of all the drinks here are ridiculously fun. Apparently the owner, Scott Yeates, is the man who name’s everything, which may or may not make sense if you know him. The honi honi. The Oso oloroso. The Jabber ruski. Kelsey told me that Yeates asked if anybody would get the reference to Violet Beauregarde, and I did, but I find it very interesting that names can be so obscure and references so strange. They have one called the garden gnome, but gnome is spelled with a k. Knome.
Asked about the naming strategies, Yeates is more pragmatic and sharing of the accolades (blame?) for these names, saying, “It’s a group effort with crafting the cocktail names. We try to name the cocktail with an experience [so] that people can associate the two together. For example, the global warming cocktail transforms and becomes hotter as the spicy ice ball melts. With how popular the Violet Beauregard name has been in such a short time, we may add in more pop culture references.”
This place is super cool. Let’s be clear about that. But, I’m not a fan of using alcohol as spirit animals. As a native american, I find the use a bit appropriative. That said, the space is gorgeous, the drinks are fantastic, and the design work is really well done. It’s hard to be mad. And the future is bright. Yeates tells us, “We’re currently working on a collaboration with the Denver Botanic Gardens for a specialty gin that is distilled from botanicals grown at the Denver Botanic Gardens. We will start this fall on a pear brandy that will be finished in port wine barrels, and we are planning another Teakoe Tea collaboration for later this year.” We can’t wait.
Mythology will provide any inquisitive customer with a free taster of a spirit they choose, so you literally have no reason to be on your phone reading this right now. A 1 oz pour of the gin is $6, 2oz is $8 and a bottle cost $32, which is totally a price point we can have fun with. The gin cocktails range between $11 – $13 per cocktail, so enjoy your next date night. Cheers.