Don’t let the name scare you off... this is seriously great stuff. Named after the straight between Washington Island and Door County in Wisconsin, Death’s Door Gin is a provincial spirit – and all the aromatics come from just three ingredients. Using juniper berries that grow wild, along with coriander and fennel sourced from within the state, it showcases how complementary and complex simple expressions can be. Made with full London Dry flavor that’s loaded with juniper upfront; spicy, citrusy notes from the coriander seeds in the mid-palate, and a soft, cooling finish provided by the fennel seeds. It’s big enough to stand up to vintage cocktail treatment, but soft enough to be enjoyed as a dry martini.
Washington Island, Wisconsin is at the heart and soul of everything produced by Death's Door Spirits. This 22 square mile island hosts 700 year-round residents and has a school, a rec center, a medical clinic, a downtown strip with bars and a grocery, churches, a bank and a gas station. What Washington Island also has is miles of beautiful uninterrupted shoreline, protected coves and inlets, and acres upon acres of open land with rolling hills and hardwood stands. Washington Island was once known for its potato farming. Washington Island "spuds" made their way around the world for their quality and flavor. However, in the early 1970's, vertical integration in the potato industry left Washington Island without contracts to grow its crops. Without customers, island farmers stopped planting and instead switched to other jobs that were either more tourism-based or moved off the island to find a livelihood elsewhere. Fast forward to 2005, a small group of like-minded people began exploring reinvigorating farming on Washington Island. Armed with enough seed to plant 5 acres and enough know-how to get it done - brothers Tom and Ken Koyen began growing wheat on the island. What started as wheat to use as flour at the Washington Island Hotel has grown into a select specialty grain for use in Capital Brewery's Island Wheat Ale and all of Death's Door Spirits products. "Death's Door" takes its name of the body of water between Door County peninsula and Washington Island from which hard red winter wheat is raised to make vodka, gin and white whisky. Potowatami and Winnebego tribesmen originally named the waterway, while the French called it Port de Mortswhen trading in the area to ward off other traders.