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Engine Organic Gin
I’m usually an easy mark for novel spirit bottles, but Engine Organic Gin is probably my favorite design to date. The bold red, blue, and white immediately stood out, and I knew I had to try it.
Paolo Dalla Mora, fashion and spirit entrepreneur, was inspired by both racing aesthetics from the 1970’s and 80’s, and Rosolios, a traditional Italian sweet liqueur. Rosolios is a popular digestive in Piedmont, the region where Engine is produced, and is commonly made using lemon and sage.
With Italian traditions being a big inspiration for Engine, most of the ingredients are sourced from across Italy. The gin is made using lemons from Sicily, licorice roots from Calabria, sage and damask rose from Piedmont, juniper berries from Tuscany, and a wheat based neutral grain spirit.
❖ Spirit: Italian Contemporary Gin
❖ Distillery: Produced and Bottled in the plant of Via Montegrappa 37
❖ ABV: 42% (84 Proof)
❖ Lower Moderate Price
❖ Nose: Sage, light citrus, ethanol scent that kind of reminds me of vodka
❖ Taste: Bitter lemon, juniper, sage, a good amount of alcohol heat
❖ Finish: Medium, bitter citrus
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Elderflower Liqueur
1 1/2-2 oz Gin
❖ Add lemon juice, elderflower liqueur and gin to a shaking tin, fill with ice and shake until chilled
❖ Strain into a tall glass filled with fresh ice and top with club soda
❖ Garnish with a slice of lemon
Since Engine has a good amount of heat and strong lemon notes, I thought a fizz cocktail like a Tom Collins might work perfectly. I happened to also have a bottle of St. Germain elderflower liqueur on hand, so I threw together this simple and refreshing Tom Collins variation.
I was actually surprised how quickly it came together. I tried a couple variations, but found a balance I enjoyed keeping the specs pretty much the same as a typical Tom Collins. I prefer tart and citrus forward cocktails in general, and the St. Germain added just the right amount of sweetness to balance the gin and lemon juice. But even just a bar spoon or two of simple syrup is enough to make it sweeter.
I was happy that Engine worked well in this cocktail. The heat gives the drink more heft, but most of the notes were overshadowed by the other ingredients. I also found a pretty drastic difference when i used 1 1/2 and 2 oz of Engine and both were enjoyable. I think I preferred 1 1/2 because its much more lemon forward, but the strong juniper notes at 2 oz were also refreshing.
Engine Organic Gin is a decent but unremarkable gin with probably my favorite branding I’ve seen yet. Even though I’m not really into cars, I’ve always had a soft spot for racing aesthetics, and Engine really nails this vibe with the oil can bottle and brightly colored label.
Unfortunately, the actually spirit isn’t quite as exciting. I like the strong lemon and sage notes and the amount of heat from the alcohol, but I was left underwhelmed by the overall experience. There was a general lack of flavor, especially in the nose, so it sometimes felt more vodka than gin.
But, this might not be a bad thing if you’re looking for a mixer. And Engine is priced well for this, since I was able to find it under $25 in my area. It might not be as cheap as some of the well known gins, but I still think the novelty makes it worth it.
As always, drink responsibly.