I used to write a “gin of the week” post back in 2018 before the revamping of this website. Week 4 of that project, I think I got to week 16 or so, was gin no. 006 of The Collection, Short Path Winter Gin. Below is the post from January of 2018. I don’t think I can do much better today. Some things have changed since then. I don’t know if Saltbox Cafe or Henrietta’s Table still stock it, but you can often find it at Total Wine and if not it’s available at Short Path Distillery in Everett for $38. I also don’t spend as much time mastering the perfect G&T ration for each gin anymore. I found that made me run through my rarer bottles too quickly. What is the same is that I love this gin. It’s strong on flavor and if I were to recommend a unique local gin, this would be my first choice.
Last week we visited Short Path Distillery [Week 3 of the project] and looked at the wide variety of spirits they produce, and of course that included gin. The seasonal gin they are making right now is Short Path Winter. This gin has one dominant flavor, rosemary. That makes it pretty simple to decide if you like it. If you like rosemary, you do. If you don’t like rosemary, you don’t.
Short Path Winter was originally called Gin No. 14. [Long ago I called it Gin #03 in my collection.] It was one of gins they tested while developing the recipe for their flagship gin. It was released as part of their CSA (community supported alcohol) program in December of 2015, but quickly decided it should become part of the regular rotation. This season they released Winter on November 16 and it will stick around till the end of February. Short Path reports they are going to release their spring gin on March 1st. The bottle features a black and white label except for “WINTER GIN” which is written in a cool blue. At the top of the label a cedar waxwing proudly perches. (Short Path brands their bottles with different birds.)
Because of the intense rosemary flavor of this gin, it is able to make some interesting cocktails. Short Path is good about sharing recipes like Rosemary’s Baby featuring 2 oz Winter Gin, 1 oz fig syrup, 1 oz cranberry, and 0.3 oz lime. They also combine the traditional flavors of rosemary and orange in cocktail called Savory Orange, combining Winter Gin with triple sec, bitters, and orange peel. If you are out and about in Boston, you will find plenty of restaurants that are stocking it, for instance Saltbox Cafe in Concord or Henrietta’s Table in Cambridge.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t just enjoy Winter Gin with tonic. The distillery serves it this way, garnished with a rosemary sprig, and really it doesn’t need a lime, but it doesn’t hurt. Because of its slightly lower proof, it’s best served with two parts gin to three parts tonic. Over all this is a delicious gin. In fact, it is good enough to drink neat or over ice. Short Path Winter is a truly unique gin and if you want something a little different for yourself or your friends, it is a bottle worth adding to your collection.
Distillers notes: “Rosemary and juniper were meant to be together! As we were working to develop our flagship gin recipe, we stumbled upon this pairing and fell in love. Rosemary’s woodsy, earthy character serves as a perfect compliment to the bright pine and citrus notes from juniper and together they created a depth of flavor we had never experienced before in a gin. Our Winter Gin features both botanicals in the front seat, with a back seat consisting of angelica root, cardamom, licorice root, and orris root for added depth and balance. Sip this one on a cold winter’s night in front of a crackling fireplace.”
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