Malfy, that most Italian of gin producers, is back with two very Italian gins that were recently released in the U.S.—Malfy Gin Con Arancia and Malfy Gin Rosa.
Malfy Gin Con Arancia is distilled with Sicilian blood oranges, Italian juniper, and four other, unnamed botanicals. It pours a bright reddish-pink in the glass, and its aroma will be instantly familiar to anyone who’s ever popped the tab of an aranciata soda (sniff a little closer and you’ll detect the juniper, too).
The palate kicks off with juicy blood orange, which quickly finds itself coupled to juniper. The fruit flavor is apparent, but there’s none of the sugar-sweetness the nose may have lead you to expect. A raspberry flavor emerges next, and a bright, clean lemon that recalls Malfy’s flagship expression sits at the center. The center is also where the brightness and subtle sweetness of the spirit climax; from here, a tart, sour cherry flavor takes over, complemented by an amaro-like bitterness and ramped-up juniper. The experience ends with a subtle trace of spice. Texture-wise, the spirit feels clean and round throughout.
Those fruit and botanical flavors—well balanced by the tart and bitter qualities on the back end—make this a sipping gin that almost drinks like an amaro.
In a Gin and Tonic made with club soda and a half-ounce of Jack Rudy tonic syrup, the bright, blood orange peel is still clearly felt. Yet there’s a backbone of juniper to remind yourself that this remains a gin, first and foremost.
— 41% ABV