Benson is pleased to start working withÂ O.R.E. 118 Raw Vegan Gin, the first spirit of its kind in the U.S. and the only spirit to be allowed a Raw Vegan claim on its Certificate of Label Approval.
The gin was launched in time for National Gin Day on June 9. While there are other vegan gins â€“ where no animal products or by-products are used in their distillation or filtration â€“ O.R.E. 118 is the only raw gin available in the U.S. market. The gin is â€œrawâ€ because throughout its entire fermentation and distillation process it is kept below 118 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature above which many enzymes break down and foods and beverages are no longer considered raw.
This genre-defining spirit is the creation of founder Robert Elder. While dining at a raw vegan restaurant in Manhattan he requested a gin martini. Dismayed to discover that martinis were not served because there were no spirits that were both raw and vegan, he undertook to change that and established his family-run company, 118 + 1st, to produce hand-crafted, raw spirits. The name of Elderâ€™s inaugural product, O.R.E. 118 Gin, has a double meaning: O.R.E. stands for â€œOriginal Raw Essence,â€ and the letters are also his fatherâ€™s initials.
â€œYou donâ€™t have to be vegan to enjoy O.R.E. 118 Gin,â€ Elder says. â€œWith its juniper, ginger and pepper notes, our gin is ideal for purists and cocktail enthusiasts alike. Still, it fills a need in the market for raw and vegan spirits. If gin is one of your favorite spirits, as it is mine, then you will love the depth of flavor and smooth finish O.R.E. 118 Gin offers, whether you are a vegan or an omnivore.â€
O.R.E. 118 Gin can be found at well-known restaurants across New York City, including Nobu, Batard and Aquavit, and is currently featured on the cocktail lists at Candle 79 and Tribeca Grill. It is available for purchase at Crush Wine & Spirits and Mister Wright Fine Wine & Spirits, and is distributed by Opici Family Distributing.