| Booze |

Rob's Mtn Gin crafts a spirit to benefit Boulder's Growing Gardens

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"Gardening is very important to me and my family," explains Rob Masters, the creator of Rob's Mtn Gin. "I found out about Growing Gardens, which teaches teenagers about the benefits of growing produce and eating green. It sells produce at local farmers' markets to fund the garden, and gives what it doesn't sell to local homeless shelters." Inspired by the organization's commitment to educate the community about an issue close to his heart, Masters decided to do something to help.

The distiller is making a special batch of gin culled from herbs and produce grown by Growing Gardens -- supplemented, when necessary, with products sourced in Boulder County. "The juniper berries come from Ollin Farms and the water comes from Indian Peaks," he notes. "So everything but the alcohol is sourced from Boulder."

And because he's adamant about working with what the organization has on hand, the final product will be a very different gin. "It's what I'd consider very green," he explains. "This isn't the best time to pick juniper berries, so those are in the dehydrator right now, but they'll have a green flavor to them." He also cites atypical botanicals that he'll be using, including basil and rosemary. And since citrus fruits aren't exactly readily available from Boulder growers, he's using lemon balm instead of lemons to give the spirit the citrusy taste associated with it. After distillation, he'll infuse the product with cucumber from the garden to give it mellow freshness.

Masters is making somewhere between 300 and 400 bottles of his unique concoction, and all the proceeds from its sale will go straight back to Growing Gardens. The product will launch this Saturday at the Growing Gardens ¡Cultiva! Harvest Dinner; after that, you'll be able to buy bottles of it at the Boulder Distillery (303 Vodka) tasting room. Masters says several restaurants in both Boulder and Denver have also expressed interest in carrying the gin, and Cured, the artisanal market slated to open on Boulder's Pearl Street, in a few weeks, will also stock it.

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