The Unique Story Behind Robert Irvine's New Gin - Exclusive

Fans of Robert Irvine know that he's a jack of all trades — professional chef, restaurant rescuer, veterans' advocate, entrepreneur, and author. He's pretty much always working on an exciting new project. And more recently, that's included getting into the world of booze. He became co-owner of Boardroom Spirits in 2017, and in 2021, he launched Irvine's Vodka and Irvine's Gin. So next time you're whipping up one of his recipes, or a recipe of any of your other favorite Food Network chefs, you can pour yourself a chef-crafted cocktail to go along with it.

Mashed caught up with Irvine recently at the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, and in an exclusive interview, Robert Irvine opened up about several new projects he's been working on, including his newest line of liquors. More specifically, he shared some details about the cool story behind his gin, which he says he is "really excited about," and the unique approach he took to crafting the spirit. We can't promise that after reading this you won't be in the mood for a martini with a twist.

A lot of time, effort, and ingredients went into making his flavorful gin

As you might expect from a trained chef, Robert Irvine took a culinary approach when developing his namesake spirits. "I created the gin with 13 botanicals that I cook with," he told Mashed. Sure, you've got your signature juniper in the mix, which we all associate with gin, but Irvine insists that it's actually not the start of the show here. "Think about Hendrick's, which is juniper-forward; this is not," Irvine said. "... I wanted something different." Irvine's Gin includes "more citrusy" flavors, as well as things like elderberry, black currant, jasmine flower, and tea.

Another star ingredient of Irvine's Gin is Ceylon cinnamon. This is a prized ingredient (and not what you usually find labeled as cinnamon at your local supermarket), and in order to procure the very best for his gin recipe, Irvine traveled straight to its native source. "I actually went to Sri Lanka to pick out the cinnamon," Irvine recalled. "I lived with a family on an island, a little three-generational family — amazing folks." That kind of effort and attention to quality is what makes Irvine so proud of his product.

Not only is this fruity, herbal gin delicious when enjoyed all on its own — or with a twist of lemon or lime — it's also designed to be enjoyed with food, particularly seafood (again, we expect nothing less from a chef). "You hear of wine and food pairings," said Irvine. "I wanted chef-curated vodka and gin to go with chef-curated food."

For the latest from Chef Robert Irvine, follow him on Instagram. Plus, learn more about the annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, presented by Capital One, and be sure to check out the highlights from this year's event.