Bottle Service: Kinsip's Juniper's Wit Gin
This ‘grain to glass’ gin made by Kinsip in Prince Edward County is a slightly sweet spirit featuring foraged juniper and local lavender.
Any at-home chef knows the value of making things from scratch, whether it’s skipping jarred pasta sauce in favour of slowly simmering tomatoes for hours or whipping up a pancake batter with real ingredients instead of the boxed stuff. It allows you to refine the flavours and process along the way.
Well, the same goes for distillers too. The average gin is typically made by distilling a bulk neutral spirit from an external producer with herbs and botanicals. But Kinsip House of Fine Spirits in Prince Edward County, formerly known as 66 Gilead, takes it one step further by controlling the entire distillation process from start to finish when producing their Juniper’s Wit Gin.
In a process they call "grain to glass", Kinsip brings in whole wheat grains in a raw state then mashes, ferments and distills it into a base spirit. Herbs and botanicals such as juniper, lavender, hops and coriander, many of which are locally sourced from within Prince Edward County, are then infused into the mixture for a second distillation to make Juniper’s Wit.
Juniper berries are abundant in the County and Kinsip recruits a small team of foragers to scour local fields for mature, flavourful berries. “Our juniper is not an in-your-face dominant presence found in some gins,” says Kinsip’s president and head of distillation Jeremiah Soucie. “It plays nicely alongside all of the other botanicals in our gin, creating balance.”
While most of us wouldn’t ever imagine drinking gin straight, Juniper’s Wit is a sippable spirit, thanks to its whole wheat base that gives the gin a sweeter quality and a subtler juniper flavour that doesn’t overwhelm the palate. Classic gin drinks like negronis and gin martinis are also excellent cocktails to make with this gin.