For Gin Lovers: McQueen And The Violet Fog, Ultraviolet Edition
If you like a gin that’s heavy on botanicals (and we do!), McQueen And The Violet Fog is the next brand for you to try. There’s the award-winning flagship brand (photos #4 and #5) and if you like something super-special, the brand has just launched its Ultraviolet Edition of violet-hued, flavored gin.
McQueen And The Violet Fog is made by Sovereign Brands, a family-run wine and spirits company.
What about the name? “McQueen and the Violet Fog” was inspired by a poem of the same name. It’s a poem about a mysterious (fictional) rock band, written by a poet who calls himself Atticus.
We couldn’t find the poem online, but the last two stanzas are printed on the back of the bottle. Briefly: The narrator is at a rock concert when the room suddenly goes black. When the lights go back on, the band has disappeared—only the verberations remain, along with a plate on the door that says “McQueen & The Violet Fog.”
Is it the name of the band? The name of the venue? An homage to the Velvet Underground (which took its own name from the title of a book on sadomasochism?
Atticus, if you read this, give us a clue.
The gin world, says Sovereign Brands, is traditionally U.K.-centric. For its flagship gin, the company wanted to do something different.
So they make their artisan gin in a single copper pot still in the hills of Jundiaí, Brazil, a municipality in the state of São Paulo.
Each small batch is a labor of love, producing only 500 liters of gin.
Twenty-one exotic botanicals are distilled into the spirit, including many rarely found in gin, such as jasmine flower, lemongrass, orris root, and pomelo peel.
The botanicals are sourced from around the world—as far from Brazil as Indian basil leaves, Mediterranean fennel seed, Portuguese rosemary, South Pacific calamansi, Vietnamese star anise, and a local hero, Brazilian açaí.
Sovereign Brands relates that no other gin has 21 botanicals, adding that six of the botanicals are found in no other gin [source].
As a result, the complex palate of McQueen and the Violet Fog reveals something new with every sip: citrus, floral notes, heat, herbs, juniper, and spice.
The gin is so smooth and satiny, some might say voluptuous…a gin that’s ultra-smooth and well-rounded, and a step away from the traditional European-style gins (photo #4).
And it’s officially a winner, taking gold in the L.A. Spirits Awards (photo #5).
Pour a snifter and inhale. Do you smell a forest, an orchard, an apothecary? A bit of heaven?
And now, more razzle-dazzle: The new Ultraviolet Edition, a flavored gin that makes beautiful purple cocktails.
It’s made from the same 21 botanicals as the flagship gin, with the added complexity of red berries and hibiscus, plus carmine to create Ultraviolet’s striking violet color.
The color is deep violet when poured neat, but transforms to a beautiful pink color when combined with tonic water or citrus juice.
While the gin is flavored, it can be used to make any gin cocktail.
The flavor is tart (from cranberries), sweet, and earthy. Concentrate and you’ll taste the cranberries plus jasmine flower, lemongrass, the Portuguese rosemary, and even rose petals.
The handsome, heavyweight bottle can be repurposed as a water bottle for the table. (For fun, use food color to make violet water.)
The goal of Sovereign Brands is to become the wine and spirits industry’s most innovative creator of unique, forward-thinking new brands. With McQueen and the Violet Fog—both versions—they’re headed in the right direction!
Discover more on the company website, along with many more recipes.
A step beyond the traditional G&T (photo #2).
1. FILL a cup of glass with ice and gin. Top with tonic water.
2. GARNISH with a grapefruit slice.
A French 75 is nice, but very pale compared to the Ultraviolet 75 (photo #1).
Ingredients Per Drink
1. COMBINE the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled flute.
2. TOP with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist
The Negroni is the world’s #2 cocktail. But here comes the Royal Negroni (photo #3).
Ingredients Per Drink
1. PREPARE a large glass (or a Boston shaker) and a mixing glass with ice. Add the gin, Campari, vermouth, and bitters to the mixing glass.
2. STIR very well and strain into a large glass. Garnish with the orange peel.