In the run-up to the 2016 election, Republic Restoratives, the women- and LGBTQ-owned and -operated local distillery, trademarked the name Rodham Rye, conceived as a toast to its namesake and the first female U.S. president.
Until, of course, the matter with the electoral college forced them to alter course. “We ended up keeping the name, but we changed the brand story,” the distillery’s Whit Kathner told Metro Weekly in 2018.
“Instead of it being a celebratory [Hillary] Clinton inauguration rye, we made it a tribute to all the women whose shoulders we stand on — women who fought to repeal prohibition, who fought for the right to vote, who run for office, who start businesses.”
Rodham Rye remains a popular spirit produced by Republic Restoratives, a company that works to convey its progressive values and politics through its product line of limited-batch, high-quality spirits, including the subtly named brands Civic Vodka and Purpose Rye.
Since the pandemic, they’ve also introduced Madam Whiskey as a hat tip to the first female Vice President Kamala Harris. More recently, they worked to develop a spirit inspired by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dissent Gin, ultimately released mere days after the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.
That radical decision and its expected disastrous consequences compelled the distillery to offer the new gin partly as a fundraiser to help pregnant women in dire need of abortion care. As such, proceeds from the sales of Dissent Gin will be donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds.
“All we could think was, what would Ruth Bader Ginsburg do? How would her dissent read? And how can we honor the woman who made dissent an act of revolution?” says the distillery’s co-founder and CEO Pia Carusone.
“Millions of Americans live in communities where safe and legal abortions were just banned. The war on women is raging, but we won’t be silent. Like RBG, we dissent and we’re going to fucking fight.”
Developed in consultation with local award-winning gin master Nicole Hassoun, Dissent Gin is a hickory smoke-infused savory liquor with notes of pepper, allspice, bay leaves, ginger, lemon, and mandarin orange.
The product’s labeling and packaging include a brightly colored image of women designed by artist Rose Jaffe, best known for her two-story mural of RGB on the side of a U Street rowhouse.
Dissent Gin retails for $79. It’s available for pick-up, local delivery, or national shipping from Republic Restoratives, 1369 New York Ave. NE. Call 202-733-3996 or visit www.republicrestoratives.com.
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