Gray Whale Gin: Making a Splash in Sustainability

In Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick, Captain Ahab restlessly pursues the infamous “white whale”, symbolizing man’s tendencies to tamper with the divine. Marsh and Jan Mokhtari, who founded California’s Golden State Distillery and Gray Whale Gin, also have their sights set on a whale: conversely, they are conscientiously following the gray whale’s journey to ensure that their production is always eco-friendly, sustainable, and a celebration of the majestic creatures. Gray Whale Gin is a gin where every step of the production – to the very creation of the bottle itself – is done to intentionally protect the oceans where these mammals reside.

Marsh and Jan’s inspiration for Gray Whale Gin came from a camping trip to Big Sur in California. On their way to experience the crystal waters and looming mountains of Big Sur, the pair saw a gray whale and its baby on a journey of their own: the awe-inspiring 12,000 mile migration that they embark upon every year. To replicate and honor that journey, Marsh and Jan created a gin where the ingredients and materials would be organically sourced or wildly foraged, and could be found along the gray whale’s migratory path. In addition, profits from sales go to Oceana, an organization solely devoted to marine conservation, and One Percent for the Planet, so marine life such as the gray whale can survive and flourish in clean oceans.  

Photo credit to Gray Whale Gin

The very bottle itself is a symbol of Gray Whale Gin’s mission; its aqua blue color symbolizes the oceans and its wondrous inhabitants, and it is designed with organic paint and a completely biodegradable cork. Inside the bottle, though, is what gives Gray Whale Gin its notoriety: six natural botanicals combine to give the gin an unforgettable flavor. Essences of the ocean, the earth, and the trees fuse to remind the consumer of the endless benefits in conserving the environment. 

The ingredients include juniper (a natural detoxifying berry), organic citrus fruits such as limes, lemons, and oranges, sustainably sourced fir trees (for a cool pine flavor), sea kelp (for an earthy taste, reminiscent of the Pacific Ocean), mint (for refreshing and medicinal properties), and almonds (to give the gin a creamy finish). The ingredients are all gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian, and even when you drain every last drop of the gin, there is still one more surprise in store: send your empty bottle back to the brand, and they will upcycle it into a candle.  

Photo credit to Gray Whale Gin

Photo credit to Gray Whale Gin

You can buy a bottle of Gray Whale Gin online on their website, or at a store near you, using their store locator!


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