About FEW American Gin
Founded as a dry community, Evanston, Illinois was the birthplace of the Women's Temperance Movement and home to Frances Elizabeth Willard, an influential protagonist in the story of Prohibition. As the Temperance Movement approached a boiling point, abstinence slowly began to creep across the country and Willard and her league of temperance supporters turned Evanston into a stronghold.
For over 100 years, Evanston remained a dry town. It wasn't until Paul Hletko, owner and master distiller at FEW Spirits, began lobbying the town that the antiquated laws were lifted. "I'm the vice president of the PTA at my kids' school and I coach their soccer and T-ball teams," Hletko says. "People around town know me and what I'm about, which is handy when you're looking to change 100 years of laws."
Today, hidden down a dark alley in a former chop shop, Hletko and his skilled team are producing another batch of FEW Spirits American Gin. The gin is crafted from a mash of corn, wheat and unmalted barley, which are infused with eleven unique botanicals, including juniper, citrus lemon and orange peel, Tahitian vanilla, cassia, grains-of-paradise and home-grown hops. As a result, the gin has a bold citrusy flavor profile, with notes of spicy ginger and earthy botanicals that complement a subtle hint of juniper.
Once the botanicals have been infused, the gin is bottled at 80 proof. FEW American Gin earned the Silver Medal at the International Review of Spirits Competition in 2011, and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2012.
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According to Winston Churchill, "The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen's lives and minds than all the doctors in the Empire," referring to the British officers using it to treat malaria in India.
Initially made for medicinal purposes, gin gets most of its flavor from the juniper berries added after the distillation process. It sure has come a long way from the Middle Ages, with the introduction of new botanicals, fruits, and spices, bringing it closer to people of all flavor varieties.
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