The Missouri Botanical Garden and 1220 Spirits are launching a gin line

Drew Gieseke

It’s not unusual to say that the gin you’re drinking is made using ingredients from your own backyard.

Earlier this summer, 1220 Spirits and Missouri Botanical Garden teamed up to launch Missouri Botanical Garden Gin, a liqueur that fuses classic juniper and coriander flavors with a carefully selected selection of locally grown botanicals. The result is a spirit that serves as a showcase for the region’s diverse and delicious plant life.

“We have been wanting to partner with Botanical Garden and our 1220 Spirits line for some time,” says Liz Sawyers, chief marketing officer for 1220 Spirits. “After getting to know the team and discussing opportunities for us to combine the garden with a local distillery, we came up with this beautiful gin collaboration.”

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New World Gin features bright citrus and bergamot aromas that give way to floral flavors of elderflower and rose hips before finishing with delicate calamus and echinacea essences. Dr. Quinn Long, director of the Shaw Nature Preserve, and Andy Burgio, director of innovation at 1220 Spirits and 4 Hands Brewing Co., pulled botanicals from the garden that they were inspired by and knew would pair well with gin.

“Spirits, wines and beers made from native and cultivated plants have provided a botanical accent to human celebrations for thousands of years,” Long said in a press release announcing the collaboration. “This partnership provides a special opportunity to experience some of the unique flavors available in the diverse plants in our region.”

Image courtesy of 1220 Spirits

The pair brainstormed through tasting exercises to develop the gin’s signature flavour. Drawing on Long’s expertise with a variety of plants in the garden and Burgio’s expertise in blending flavors and ingredients, the final product offers flexibility for those who enjoy it.

“Chosen botanicals provide complex layers of flavors and a beautiful smooth finish that works well with soda or tonic,” says Sawyers.

Toki, a St. Louis-based creative design studio, collaborated with 1220 and the Missouri Botanical Garden to create the bottle art design, which was revealed when the gin was announced. The Missouri Botanical Garden gene made its debut on June 2 at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s annual gala. It is available at Garden Market and can be purchased at 4 Hands Brewing Co. Until supplies run out. The 1220 team will also hold pop-ups to share the collaboration with visitors. Plus, 20 percent of bottle sales will go back to the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Above all, both parties seem happy to be able to participate in this process.

“This is a real passion project and a real collaboration for us as a local distillery,” Sawyers says. “Being partners with Garden has been a dream come true for many of us here at 1220 Spirits. The Missouri Botanical Gardens is a St. Louis institution, and their team couldn’t be more engaged and excited about the opportunity. This gin is one of a kind.”

1220 Spirits, 1220 S 8th Street, LaSalle Park, St. Louis, Missouri,

Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., Shaw, St. Louis, Missouri,

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