Updated: Apr 5, 2021
Forging new paths is second nature to Morgan McLachlan. Before becoming a master distiller, she followed in her father's footsteps to become the youngest camera operator and one of the only women at the time in the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. In 2012, she co-founded The Spirit Guild, a distillery that specializes in making spirits from California's diverse flora. McLachlan quickly established herself as a master distiller — and one of the few women in the industry — helping launch seven beverage brands, including one of our hands-down favorites: AMASS Dry Gin.
McLachlan's passion and encyclopedic knowledge of plants goes back to her childhood in the Canadian Pacific Northwest, where she would spend time walking and foraging in the woods under the watchful eye of her grandparents. Today, McLachlan experiments with plants and herbs from her backyard in Echo Park, California, to create a line of "clean botanics for modern life" that includes beverages and personal care products.
"Amass" means "to gather," and that’s exactly what McLachlan has achieved with AMASS Dry Gin. The gin takes inspiration from Los Angeles' natural terrain and diverse cultural landscape. AMASS features 29 botanicals, including locally sourced California Bay and Cascara Sagrada to more worldly flavors such as cardamom and hibiscus.
The final product is both refreshingly flora and earthy, with finishes of some peppery notes. The citrus notes from lemon and grapefruit are more subtle. They are well balanced with the deeper flavors of the bay leaf and mushrooms, which remind us of Indian garam masala spices.
We enjoy this gin as an extra dry martini, where the gin can take the stage. Garnish with a lemon twist or onion to accentuate the botanicals.