A traditional twist on a modern London Dry Gin, ENGINE is a throwback to the good ol’ days where muscle cars were at the center of a cultural sensation. With roots deep in style, tradition, and of course, cocktails, this small-batch craft gin has engines revving.
What do these three things have in common: fast cars, great flavor, and impeccable style? Well, you see, they just wouldn’t be the same without a little Italian influence—and the very same goes for liquor. When you combine flair and expertise flawlessly and bottle it in one brightly colored, carefully curated package that can be enjoyed and admired for both its uniqueness and approachability, what do you get? As we welcome Moto May, look no further, and allow us to introduce you to something fast, fine, and so damn tasty no matter how you serve it.
In a nutshell, ENGINE is a bouquet of fresh, healing herbs in a pop art package that draws you in willingly by the tastebuds, just like Warhol and Lichtenstein did with your eyes. Produced in small batches and delicately hand-crafted in Piedmont in northwest Italy, this isn’t your father’s London dry gin. When it comes to the spirit itself, the botanicals used in ENGINE’s distillation aren’t necessarily atypical. Citrus, herbs, and juniper are traditionally essential in creating a proper London dry gin, but what sets ENGINE apart from the rest is its origins and the origins of its components. Organic, local ingredients such as Ligurian sage and lemon picked from the Amalfi Coast are key in ENGINE’s recipe and were carefully chosen as a tribute to the Italian tradition of ancient digestive remedies called rosolios, which were sweet Italian cordials made from an array of fruits, herbs, and spices. With a soft and natural zest on the palate, ENGINE’s perfect soul mate is simply a light tonic water, but don’t let that keep you from experimenting with it in a cocktail or two.
What has us buzzing about ENGINE aside from its delightful “sippability” is that it straddles a line between two industries that aren’t typically parallel with one another—the world of cocktails and the world of, you guessed it, engines. The two were perhaps first combined by godfathers of the bar such as Henry Craddock and his Bentley cocktail, and even earlier, the Automobile cocktail. Originally created by Tim Daly in 1903 as what would be comparable to a brunch-type cocktail today, it was later altered to something quite a bit closer to a Rob Roy variation by Frank Meier in 1936 and has remained as the more widely known version. Since each of these cocktails were born in times of true auto innovation, it’s clear just how much of a cultural influence the machines that inspired them have had on generations and generations.
ENGINE was plucked from the imagination of Paolo Dalla Mora, a spirit aficionado, successful restauranteur, and not to mention, Moschino’s former marketing director—so needless to say, this guy knows a thing or two about what looks and tastes great. As a hat tip to the muscle cars and racing culture splashed across 1980s Technicolor television, the gas-can “bottle” adds a little camp without any sort of tacky novelty. The iconic packaging was designed by artist and illustrator Ghica Popa, whose juxtaposition of retro-futuristic flare is the perfect expression of ENGINE’s aesthetic. Along with their gin and signature tonic water, you can also cop some stylish branded gear also designed by Popa directly through the website. At the end of the road, whether you’re a gin collector, a car collector, or neither, it’s easy to feel like you have the wind in your hair after just a few sips.
Ligurian sage to chill
Lemon from the Amalfi Coast to energize
Licorice roots from Calabria to digestDamask rose to relax
Spring Water to refresh
Essential oils to make it essential
Juniperus berries and wheat alcohol to make the gin