(and, no, Spanish Moss is not an ingredient)
Our gin came about from requests.
We had family, friends, and patrons continually asking us to make a gin. However, no one, and I mean no one, who works at Rotten Little Bastard Distillery drank gin.
Time for research and development. I would ask anyone I knew who likes gin to recommend a good one to try. I’d buy a bottle and try it neat and in a drink or two. We couldn’t find anything Brigid or I liked. The requests kept coming in, “You should really make a gin.” With no flavor profile we cared for, it was time to jump in with both feet and create a gin we would enjoy.
Our first step was to get someone on board that understands flavor blending. Time to call my ace in the hole, my niece Adriann Sawyer, a trained pastry chef and gin drinker. I asked if she would like to create a gin recipe with us. Adriann’s answer was “Absolutely” peppered with a few excited expletives. A long conversation about Botanicals and flavor profiles followed and she was off to the store.
The quest was accepted and experimenting began. My niece is not a distiller, so she was soaking the botanicals in vodka to extract the flavors. A few days later, Adriann called to tell me she was doing something she had never done before. I said “Yes, making a gin recipe.” Her answer was “Nope. I am pouring alcohol down the drain. This is disgusting.” Back to the drawing board. More discussions, change up some botanicals, adjust the quantities. And try again.
A few more days go by and Adriann tells me “I think I got a recipe that might work.” I order the Botanicals and decide to run a small batch through our 10-gallon still. We used five gallons of our vodka and Adriann’s botanical recipe.
As it ran out at 150 proof, we kept tasting the gin. The consensus was, “I don’t like gin, but that tastes good to me.” We proofed it to 90 and started to call family and friends to try it. Everyone liked it. We had a product we could put on our shelves. One issue being we can only make 3.5 gallons at a time. This is a very small batch hand crafted spirit.
As gin was a community request, we went to our RLB community to come up with a name. From well over 100 entries through our e-list, social media and in person ideas, the name ‘Spanish Moss Gin’ was chosen by our RLB community.
As the Spanish Moss Gin was quickly becoming one of our best sellers, we decided to send it to the Las Vegas Global Spirit Awards. To our Pleasure, it was announced on November 18, 2021 that it won a Platinum medal. Our Gin competed with Gins from all over the world and came out in the top of the category. Not bad for a little Mom and Pop Craft distillery in a small costal town in South Carolina.
We are enormously proud to announce Spanish Moss Gin from Rotten Little Bastard Distillery won Platinum at the 2021 Las Vegas Global Spirit Awards. https://www.vegasspiritawards.com/awards/