Food

DC Distillery Releases Dissent Gin in Support of Abortion Rights

Republic Restoratives' latest bottle of booze is inspired by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Republic Restoratives' Dissent Gin. Photograph by John Robinson.

Ivy City distillery Republic Restoratives produced Rodham Rye to celebrate Hillary Clinton and Madam whiskey as an homage to VP Kamala Harris. Its latest political product? Dissent Gin with proceeds benefiting abortion access.

Although the release—Wednesday, June 29—feels particularly timely given the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade last week, Dissent Gin was first conceptualized as an ode to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, years before before 2020 death. While Ginsburg’s legacy has been somewhat complicated in liberal circles by her decision not to retire before the 2016 election, she was obviously a huge champion for abortion rights. And so the idea for Dissent Gin was revived this year when it started to become clear that the Supreme Court might change course on the issue.

“We’re just always thinking, ‘What can we do? We are a distillery,'” says Republic Restoratives founder Pia Carusone, a former chief of staff to congresswoman Gabby Giffords. “We just kind of can’t help ourselves given the people that we are and what’s our own minds, and I think what’s on our customers’ minds.”

Master distiller, bartender, and all around gin whiz Nicole Hassoun drew from Ginsburg’s Brooklyn upbringing for a pastrami-inspired flavor profile. The savory gin is cold-smoked with hickory and incorporates notes of pepper, allspice, bay leaves, ginger, lemon, and mandarin orange.

DC artist Rose Jaffe, who’s behind the mural of RBG on U Street, designed the label, which she says aims to embody “togetherness, resistance, and the beauty of supporting each other in the pursuit of our dreams.”

The bottle, $79, will be available at Republic Restoratives (pre-order here) and local retailers. Ten dollars from each bottle will go to National Network of Abortion Funds, which provides financial and logistical support for people seeking abortions.  The distillery previously raised more than $25,000 for EMILY’s List, an organization that helps pro-choice Democratic women running for office, with proceeds from Rodham Rye.

Republic Restoratives is producing about 500 bottles to start but will continue depending on demand.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

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