Over the two years that it took Santa Fe Spirits to perfect the recipe for Wheeler’s Western Dry Gin, we found ourselves constantly wandering the Southwest in search of the perfect combination of botanicals to create a classic dry gin with southwestern flair. Much like explorer and cartographer George Wheeler, after whom both this bold gin and New Mexico’s highest mountain are named, we wandered New Mexico’s arid desert basins, lush mountain meadows, and everywhere between with the goal of revealing the subtle secrets of the Southwest to the rest of the world. But where Wheeler used a pen and paper, we used a bottle and a still.
Wheeler’s unparalleled flavor marries bold complexity with sincere terroir. When enjoyed neat, hop flowers and osha root create a vibrant aroma that is a delightful interplay of bright fruit and spice. Upon a solid foundation of juniper, the short-lived, frail, magenta flowers of the local cholla cactus contribute a one-of-a-kind flavor reminiscent of cucumber, but chock full of sweet nectar and delicate perfume. Then, just as the distinct hues of a desert sunset combine to form a single, spectacular view, the various aromas and flavors of Wheeler’s unite in a pleasant finish with a hint of sage, leaving one to contemplate the unending list of cocktails that would benefit from this adventurous gin and the subtle flavors of the Southwest.