There’s no need to gin and bear it any longer thanks to brothers Don and Scott Avellino’s bespoke-spirits brand, Revivalist.
"One of our favorite things to do is to educate skeptics about our spirits and turn them into our biggest fans,” says Scott Avellino, who, with his brother, Don, are hellbent on turning the old-school perception of gin on its head through their Brandywine Valleybased Revivalist botanical gin brand. “Too many times we’ve been told, ‘I don’t do gin’; or, ‘I had a bad experience once.’ Challenge accepted,” laughs Scott. “We represent a new era of spirits, and our new American-style gin is changing people’s perception of what gin is.” And Wine Enthusiast agrees, naming Revivalist one of 2017’s top 100 spirits.
Revivalist isn’t your standard gin, and the Avellino brothers aren’t your typical sales, marketing and brand ambassadors. With a successful family background in the auto industry, these two were itching to do something new after the 2011 sale of their auto-based tech firm. It was only when they considered Don’s favorite hobby of brewing beer as a new venture that they saw an opportunity to be more creative in making a spirit that was poised to make a huge comeback. “Revivalist is all about reviving things that are worthy,” says Don. “Our 19th-century stone barn [which now houses their Brandywine Branch Bistro] was worthy of reviving, and so too was the art of craft distilling. Even gin as a category cried out for rebirth and creativity. It’s about being hands-on in a world dominated by technology and the internet. This is why we chose the name Revivalist.” And while most of the brothers’ focus lies squarely with the gin, they’ve also made a foray into brown liquors with their Brandywine Branch custom cask straight bourbon—as well as offering local produce, artisanal cheeses and farm-to-table fare at Brandywine Branch Bistro (350 Warwick Road, Elverson, 610.901.3668, revivalistspirits.com), which is housed in the same 19th-century stone barn in Elverson where the distillery is located.
What makes Revivalist different than, say, a traditional gin like Beefeaters, is that it’s bespoke. Craft spirits are small-batch and distinctly unique by nature, so the distillers can be as free and creative as they wish when developing new recipes and aging programs. Most standard gins allow juniper to shine as the primary nose and flavor, and use fewer botanicals as a subtle influence, while Revivalist takes the opposite approach. It’s a softer and more approachable spirit, making it an excellent entry point for non-gin-drinkers.
There are five unique expressions (flavors) in the Revivalist portfolio, four of which are distilled with select botanicals that are harvested during certain times of the year: Equinox, Summertide, Harvest and Solstice. But the Dragon Dance is hot year-round—as the only jalapeno-infused gin in the country.
“The gin revival is here and growing,” says Scott. “As the craft movement evolves, more and more gin cocktails are being revived or invented. People are expanding their cocktail repertoires and searching for an experience rather than just a cocktail.” And if the Avellino brothers have their way, Revivalist will be the go-to spirit to create that ultimate experience.