Since our thirsty food & drink editor’s cup runneth over, here’s a space for her to spill the tea on all of the greatest, tastiest, and trendiest sips. There's really only one thing you'll find here ... NO BAD DRINKS!
My Current Drink Crush: Monday Gin
Why This Drink Matters: This month, one in five adults are pledging to cut out alcohol as part of Dry January. Admittedly, this is probably the most challenging stretch of time to cut out alcohol, given the dumpster fire that was 2020 (and a 2021 that's already off to an incredibly dire start).
Some good news: If you're choosing to cut out alcohol from your diet and lifestyle for Dry January-related reasons or otherwise, the nonalcoholic options available to you have never been better.
One standout nonalcoholic spirits brand is Monday Gin: a spicy, botanical, zero-ABV spirit that tastes almost shockingly similar to a traditional London dry gin. The story behind the name is worth mentioning — CEO and cofounder Chris Boyd created Monday Gin as a means to continue partying on a Sunday night without a gnarly hangover ... especially if you have shit to do on Monday.
In Boyd's own words:
"Monday Gin mimics a classic London-Dry style gin through and through. We created a non-alcoholic product that didn’t skimp on taste. We want consumers to drink Monday or create a cocktail with Monday, and feel like they are sipping on a classic G&T or a Negroni. Essentially, we want to eliminate the feeling that you’re drinking a non-alcoholic beverage because everyone deserves to enjoy a cocktail ... alcohol or not."
How We Met: I’ll be honest. I had Monday Gin sitting on my home bar (and looking quite pretty, I might add) for a few months while the soul-sucking Zamboni that was 2020 swept through and came, at last, to a puttering close. It wasn’t necessarily the first on my list of spirits to try.
But after the holidays passed and January arrived, I decided it was the right time to give Monday a proper shot. I'll admit that I was shocked by how much it reminds me of traditional, herbaceous, alcohol-laden London dry gin.
Monday Gin is doing something different from the other players in the nonalcoholic spirits game: It's not trying to mask the burn of the spirit it's replacing. Loaded with the same botanical concoction of ingredients like juniper, coriander, and cucumber, this spirit can be poured the same as any other top-shelf gin. It's still intensely aromatic, spicy on the palate, and ends with that bitter juniper dryness we all associate with traditional gin.
In a way, Monday Gin raises the question: Why even add alcohol to the already delicious botanical equation?
Tasting Notes: Monday Gin smells like gin. If you blindly smelled this bottle alongside a more traditional London dry gin (as I did), it would be difficult to discern which bottle actually contained alcohol. So, for gin enthusiasts, Monday is accomplishing one of the most important facets of the gin-drinking experience, if you will: that fresh, woodsy, aromatic bouquet that first lures you into your cocktail.
On the palate, Monday first hits the back of your tongue with instant bitterness, giving way to a series of herbal notes: first juniper, then citrus, and finally a cooling cucumber-coriander kiss. For Gin & Tonic lovers — specifically, quinine lovers — this stuff hits the mark on the bitterness scale, in folds.
I recommend first trying Monday straight from the bottle to see how your taste buds react. For me, it was just slightly too bitter to sip on its own. I find it works best as the base spirit for a nonalcoholic cocktail versus the star of the whole show. I added a hefty splash of seltzer (because I don't love tonic water), plus a squeeze of fresh lemon, and thus created one of the most deceptive mocktails I've ever experienced.
Closing Argument: If you're pledging to sobriety — Dry January or not — I salute you. If you're looking for a nonalcoholic spirit to help smooth the transition, try Monday Gin. It was created by someone who clearly appreciates the magic of gin ... but who also understands the reality of a crippling hangover come Monday.
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