Waterhead Gin of the Month – Death’s Door

Our Waterhead Gin of the Month takes us across the Atlantic and tells a story of sustainability at its best. Death’s Door Spirits have reinvigorated the local agricultural heritage as well as creating a superb and highly acclaimed gin. 

Deaths Door 4
Photo credit Death’s Door Spirits

Locally Sourced Ingredients

An experiment to restore agriculture on Washington Island, located on the fingertip of Wisconsin, USA, turned into a flourishing business with a state-of-the-art craft distillery having an annual capacity of 250,000 cases of finished product.

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Five acres of wheat production quickly increased to 1,000 acres

The land on Washington Island, once known for its potato farming, had lain fallow for over thirty years until in 2005 a specific variety of red winter wheat was identified that would be capable of surviving the unique maritime conditions on the island. The initial plot of 5 acres of wheat has been extended to 1,000 acres over the ensuing years.

The botanicals for the gin (juniper, coriander seeds, and fennel seeds) are also sourced in Wisconsin when possible. In fact, the company has an annual juniper harvest festival on Washington Island where guests pick wild juniper berries.

The base spirit for the gin is made from a recipe of 60% wheat grown on Washington Island and 40% malted barley, also from Wisconsin. This lends a touch of vanilla/toffee to the nose and a soft, creamy sweetness to the gin.

A Warning to Rivals

“Death’s Door” takes its name from the body of water between Door County peninsula and Washington Island where the wheat is grown. Potowatami and Winnebego tribesmen originally named the waterway such to ward off other traders.

Death’s Door Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Loaded juniper berries
  • Palate: Spicy, citrusy notes from the coriander seeds
  • Finish: Soft and cooling which is provided by the fennel seeds

Death’s Door Gin and Tonic

A refreshing gin and tonic served in the garden at Waterhead overlooking the lake
A refreshing gin and tonic served in the garden at Waterhead overlooking the lake
  • Fill a balloon glass with ice
  • Pour a large measure of Death’s Door Gin over the ice
  • Top with Fever-Tree Indian tonic water
  • Garnish with a wedge of fresh grapefruit or apple either will compliment the citrus botanical flavours within the gin.

Crimson Flourishrecipe-deathsdoor-gin-crimsonflourish

  • 50ml Death’s Door gin
  • 50ml fresh blood orange juice
  • 25ml cherry brandy
  • 10ml fresh lemon juice
  • Fill cocktail shaker with ice and add all the ingredients, shake and strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a slice of blood orange.

Death’s Door Rougerecipe-deathsdoor-gin-rouge

  • 50ml Death’s Door gin
  • 50ml pomegranate liqueur
  • 50ml red wine, dry
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh orange juice
  • Fill cocktail shaker with ice and add all the ingredients, shake and strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Gin Tasting Event’s at Waterhead

Join us for one of our popular Gin Tasting events at Waterhead.

Gin Tasting Events at Waterhead
Gin Tasting Events at Waterhead

16th September hosted by Fever-Tree tonic and Williams Chase Gin

21st October hosted by Bedrock

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