It’s a great time to be a gin drinker. There are more gins out there than ever, and exceptional new bottlings are appearing all the time. The boom has opened the door for gin-focused bars like Scofflaw in Chicago, which stocks its shelves with a curated selection of more than a hundred different gins. While every true juniper enthusiast should make a pilgrimage to Scofflaw and start working their way down the list, the more casual gin lover can get by with a few recommendations for under-the-radar gins from Scofflaw bar manager Luke DeYoung.
Made in Cognac, France, by Cognac producers on Cognac stills, this pioneering gin paved the way for other Cognac producers who wanted to venture into paler pastures. Though it’s been around for years now, Citadelle is still relatively unknown. “It’s never been intensely marketed,” DeYoung says. “When it came out, it was more radical in its flavor profile, but now not so much. It has fun floral notes; it takes you on a journey. At first sip, you get juniper but then it finishes super spicy, like baking spices. It’s super soft—they use French wheat.” DeYoung likes to use Citadelle in easy-drinking Martinis (“beginner Martinis”) as well as any sour cocktail like a French 75 or Gimlet.