This pioneering, family-owned distillery was the first to bring craft distilling back to DC after Prohibition. Fittingly, the founders named their operation after a notorious Capitol Hill bootlegger, George Cassiday, known as "The Man in the Green Hat." Cassiday spent 10 years selling liquor to congressmen and senators, after which he outed his customers by writing about their hypocrisy in The Washington Post. Since 2011, Green Hat has been making several varieties of gin, including the Classic, Navy Strength, and seasonal bottlings.
"It's like asking ‘What’s your favorite band?’ -- there’s so many good, local products. I'm still very partial to Green Hat. They really paved the way for distilling in the District, and their gin is amazing. I love that they're not afraid to experiment. Their Ginavit, which is a mix of gin and aquavit, is the perfect example. It's a great product, and opens the way to add completely new flavors to gin cocktails or something completely original. Also, their Spring/Summer gin is beautiful and includes some unusual botanicals, like cherry blossoms." -- Derek Brown, president of Drink Company (Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich, Southern Efficiency, Columbia Room)
"Green Hat is different. It separates itself from other gins with its earthiness/funkiness. Don't get me wrong, I love a classic London Dry-style gin, but it's nice to have someone take a chance on a different botanical mix!" -- Jeff Faile, beverage director at Rose’s Luxury and Pineapple and Pearls
"The light floral and citrus notes are really pleasant, and I find it easy to riff on many a warm-weather gin punch. In the past, I've really enjoyed mixing it with fresh citrus and moscatel sherry. The Ginavit has an amazing nose and is so unique... I'm not sure I've tasted another product like it. It shares identity in both the gin and aquavit worlds, but stands alone." -- Chantal Tseng, bartender at the Reading Room at Petworth Citizen
"My favorite expression is the Spring/Summer flavor. I actually hoard this gin; it's my favorite. I also love the company because they're always accessible to the bar and bartenders, and always willing to educate and help wherever and whenever." -- Gina Chersevani, owner of Buffalo & Bergen