53 Washington Ave., Portland,207-536-0592
Why we dig it
Some craft-booze outfits hurriedly roll out a slew of whiskeys, rums, and vodkas, but a year in, Hardshore owner/distiller Jordan Milne is sticking with gin. “I’d rather do one thing extremely well,” he explains. Milne uses two unconventional botanicals — mint and rosemary — and downplays gin’s typically dry, resinous juniper berry flavor. Its herbal profile means the spirit isn’t just for dockside summer cocktails; for a winter belly warmer, Hardshore barkeep Travis Gauvin makes what he calls the Pear Necessities — gin, pear puree, rosemary-clove syrup, a touch of lemon. Next up, Milne and Gauvin are experimenting with another unorthodox botanical: seaweed.