Italian Gin, Where Have You Been?

By Zac Kvas, Head Mixologist & Co-Founder of Kvas Fine Beverage Co.


“Isn’t that the stuff that tastes like Christmas trees?” Is a common question bartenders will get when explaining a gin cocktail to newcomers at their bar.


But is it true? Does gin taste like trees? The short answer is yes. Gin does taste a little like Christmas trees, but it has so much more to offer!


For those of you who haven’t dappled in a gin & tonic or sipped a more classic stirred gin martini, gin is a spirit distilled (or steeped with) a selection of botanicals that is most often juniper heavy.


Juniper is the berry responsible for the Christmas tree-like taste, but distillers often put other botanicals like lavender, lemon peel, cardamom or horus root to balance the flavour.


Several different types of gin exist but two of the most popular are Old Tom Gin and London Dry Gin. And as far as history goes… gin’s roots date back to the Benedictine monks in Italy, which gives these Opimian products such a great story.


Old Tom Gin


From where the Chianti wine tradition was originally born, Winestillery brings two new gins to the Opimian lineup that I’d love to introduce you to because Chianti has so much more to offer than just wine!


The first is the London Dry Gin which comes in at 42% ABV (just a little extra kick). Underlying notes from the original wine distillate are prominent (and beautiful), but the gin also showcases a complex mix of cardamom, citrus, juniper and orange blossom. A classic Martinez, mixing 1.5 oz. Winestillery London Dry Gin, 1.5 oz. Winestillery Tuscan Dry Vermouth and a bar-spoon of maraschino liqueur stirred on ice serve this gin to perfection.


gin martinez


The second, Old Tom Gin, also comes in at 42% but packs a more delicate bouquet of honey, winter spice and mature oak. With a mildly sweeter palate, this gin makes for a perfect Gimlet by mixing 2.5 oz. Winestillery Old Tom Gin, ½ oz. simple syrup, ½ oz. lime juice.


gin gimlet


While the first gin is a perfect bottle to keep in the freezer and sip on ice or enjoy in more classic cocktails, the second is more suited to the modern cocktail and mixed drink.


So one bottle to hide in the freezer for yourself, and the other to share and enjoy with company… if they are so lucky!




Zac Kvas

Zac Kvas has been working as a mixologist for almost a decade. He created the cocktail program at Wayne Gretzky Estates and currently owns and operates his own cocktail syrup & garnish company, Kvas Fine Beverage Co. with his wife & business partner Amy Kvas. 


Order these wines by January 16, 2023


London Dry Gin

3900 Winestillery London Dry Gin, Chioccioli Altadonna Family Estate


Old Tom Gin

3901 Winestillery Old Tom Gin, Chioccioli Altadonna Family Estate