With roots stretching all the way back to the 13th century, gin is certainly not a new spirit. From gin-crazed and bootlegging origins through to its regular appearances in popular culture (characters in the Great Gatsby, as well as James Bond himself, are known fans of the spirit), it has long been a fixture in our drinks cabinet.
However, in the last few years, something about the juniper-based spirit has captured the imagination of bartenders and drinkers alike. Toronto has seen a huge uptick in the number of gin distilleries and venues with a strong gin focus – and it's no surprise. Gin is a sippable, versatile spirit that even the most seasoned drinkers will never get tired of drinking. Similar to wine, gin is terroir-driven, using the selected botanicals to create a distinct sense of place. Though it's an acquired taste like whiskey, gin is a much more approachable spirit that won't cost you a fortune to build up a collection. Bartenders love the versatility of gin for cocktails like the classic French 75 and Gimlet all the way through to quirky mixologist creations – but it's also delicious in a simple G&T.
While spirits often claim to be unique, ungava truly is a gin unlike any other. The Canadian crafted spirit is the only yellow gin, meaning that the other gins on the market literally pale in comparison. The rare hand-foraged Arctic botanicals from Ungava Bay that can be found in ungava Gin include Nordic juniper, cloudberry, Labrador tea and rosehip. What gives the gin its bright yellow colour is the infusion of rosehip after distillation, which means its distinctive hue is all natural. It's exactly this adventurous and unexpected character that makes ungava an exciting spirit that both new and long-time gin fans will want to try.
Toronto Gin Trail
This year, we're celebrating International Gin Day with the ungava Toronto Gin Trail on June 9 – a.k.a. a ready-made bar crawl where you can learn more about mixology while raising a glass to the start of patio season. Gin-thusiasts can visit the restaurants and bars along the route (save the map below to direct you) and try out a new ungava Gin cocktail at each stop. Start your day at Belfast Love before making your way through the entertainment district to check off the other iconic venues on the trail (District Eatery, Amano Pasta, Drake One Fifty and Carbon Bar)
If that whets your appetite, you can get $3 off a bottle of ungava Gin at the LCBO from June 23 - July 20 (regularly $35.95 for 750ml).
Click here to download the map of the Toronto Gin Trail.