18.8 is a Canadian-made gin that’s designed for those who want to imbibe — but just a little.
What is 18.8 Gin?
18.8 is a low-alcohol gin from Canadian start-up company Fluid Assets Inc. Its name is a reference to its ABV, which clocks in at 18.8 per cent, making it about half a potent as standard gin, which averages around 37.5 to 50 per cent ABV. Less alcohol also means 18.8 Gin packs fewer calories than its traditional cousin. It aims to be a lighter alternative for those who are looking back on alcohol or calories (or both).
Why we love it
Although the pandemic has brought about a sudden spike in drinking, Canadians have been on a general trend towards imbibing less frequently and alcohol-free alternatives have been popping up in response. You might new alcohol-free spirits and beers hitting stores or the non-alcoholic cocktail lists at your local bars getting lengthier and more sophisticated.
18.8, however, is the first brand in Canadian to plant itself squarely in the middle, offering a new option for those who want to cut down on drinking but not go completely alcohol-free. Whether you want to chill out with a post-work cocktail without dealing with a Tuesday morning hangover the next day or want to enjoy a few drinks without blowing your calorie count for the day, 18.8 Gin offers some of the pleasant buzz of alcohol while dialling down some of its drawbacks.
While imports like Seedlip have dominated the low-ABV cocktail scene up until recently, we love that 18.8 is made in the Niagara region. It tastes like a decent quality gin, too, with floral, slightly peppery notes and a finish that lacks the alcohol-y burn of traditional spirits (the latter might be a pro or con depending on your perspective, but we consider it to be a plus).
Like traditional gin, however, it’s not really something you’ll want to drink straight but it mixes up nicely into gin cocktails, including a basic G&T (18.8 also makes a low-alcohol vodka if that’s a better fit for your usual cocktail of choice). When we eventually host in-person parties again, you can bet we’ll be offering this as an alternative option for guests. For now, we’re using it to toast the end of another solo work-from-home day (and as a reason to brush up our mixology skills).