New Columbia co-founder John Uselton said that while they’re both avid gin drinkers, he and Michael Lowe, pictured here, did not want to mimic any of their favorite pours. Instead, their handiwork encapsulates the bond of wheat and 12 carefully selected botanicals.
Art and Soul has worked Green Hat gin into its “Stayin’ Put,” an inauguration special that clouds the clear spirit with berry syrup then brightens things up with a touch of bubbly.
Other cocktail gurus working wonders with New Columbia’s wares include Derek Brown (The Passenger/Columbia Room), JP Fetherston (Rappahannock Oyster Bar) and Erin Lingle (Boundary Road).
Lowe estimates they are currently cranking about 40 cases a week (full run takes about three weeks from mash to bottle) but suggested they could up their productivity to 50 cases with some fine-tuning. The pair has presciently carved out room for a second dedicated still, but Lowe doubts they’ll need to take that leap before expanding across the river.
The most immediate adaptation could be a line of seasonal gins, while the long view includes a rye whiskey (production: mid-2013; earliest release: 2016) and apple brandy (eventually).
“We want to have the luxury to have our whiskey in full-sized barrels and letting it age at least three years,” Lowe said. “In the meantime, we’ll be making gin.”
New Columbia Distillers: 1832 Fenwick St. NE; 202-733-1710; greenhatgin.com. Open for tours Monday through Friday; tastings available Thursday through Saturday.