Clemengold Gin, by Fanakalo

Every Friday we raise a glass to celebrate some of the best new boozy bottles to hit store shelves. This week we pay homage to spirits old and new; some offering refreshing modern twists, and others immersed in the vapors of the past.

Atlantico Rum, by Project M+

Sure, rum was once the preserve of salty pirates who braved the oceans of the world to thieve and plunder, all the while basted in the spirits of the sweet sugar cane. But modern rum’s been revamped and updated, made sophisticated and translated into a much more premium affair. Take Atlantico, the new kid on the block of the Dominican rums, which has opted for a “clean label design from the linear and layered look of a passport… elements of tradition and heritage blended with a young, adventurous spirit,” according to branding agency Project M+, taking inspiration from “the sun at Golden Hour, the salt on your skin to the salt on your rim.” Aside from the salty rim, does that sound like a pirate’s beverage to you? This rum’s a stylish number, my liquor-loving friends.

Cooperstown Spitball, by Pavement Design

Cooperstown Spitball, by Pavement Design

“Named after the infamous and illegal baseball pitch of the same namesake, Spitball will ‘bring the heat’ with a spicy cinnamon-flavored kick that is unparalleled by other cinnamon-flavored whiskeys in the marketplace,” says Pavement Design. Cinnamon whiskey? Why the heck not—particularly one created to mark the start of the Major League Baseball season with packaging designed with vintage baseball cards in mind. Is it against the rules of the game to belch fire before pitching?

Hafrsfjord Gin, by Herman Awuku

Sometimes it’s just not enough for a drink to taste good on ice, and with the number of gins flooding the market at the moment it’s important to be able to distinguish yourself in the marketplace. In some cases that means playing with unusual botanicals, in others opting for brand values that appeal to a different audience. Sometimes real outside-the-box thinking is required to find a point of difference, like anchoring your gin in the heroic history of Nordic kings.

“Hafrsfjord Gin is a liquor brand based on the legend of the battle of Hafrsfjord, in Stavanger, Norway,” says Brooklyn-based designer Herman Awuku. “Around [the] year 827 this famous Viking battle is believed to have produced the first king of Norway, King Harald I, also known as Harald Fairhair. In honor of this historic event Hafrsfjord Gin bears the face of King Harald I as its main symbol.”

Clemengold Gin, by Fanakalo

You know how I literally just said how many new gins there were? Here to support my point is another new gin—this one sadly has no Viking history in its arsenal. Clemengold is a “Classic Cape Dry style, it is smooth with subtle hints of citrus complementing almond and cinnamon,” with nine different botanicals used to create its unique taste (what did I also say about botanicals?). With this flavorsome approach in mind, they’ve kept the labels tastefully fruity, opting for a fecund branch of clementines to speak for the gin’s gustatory merits.