Hollywood director Paul Feig's latest project is one that can be enjoyed off-screen.

By Patricia Doherty
July 29, 2020
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Credit: Jamie Ferguson

Award-winning director and producer Paul Feig brought us laughs with Bridesmaids, The Heat, and the female-led Ghostbusters remake. He’s directed episodes of The Office, Weeds, Nurse Jackie, and Mad Men, and was behind the cult classic Freaks and Geeks. But Feig’s newest creation — after two years of devotion — won’t be seen on TV or movie screens.

Lover of cocktail culture and devoted fan of martinis from Dukes Bar in London, Feig has traveled the world in search of the perfect combination of gin, vermouth, and a generous lemon peel — his favored garnish. Although he’s savored martinis from London to Paris to New York, the connoisseur and ardent fancier of gin set out to create one that met his own standards of perfection.

Credit: Courtesy of Artingstall's

Feig enlisted the experts at Minhas Craft Brewery, brother and sister Ravinder and Manjit Minhas, who presented him with various combinations of botanicals after considering his preferences. Many tastings later — Feig recounted tweaking the alcohol content as a last step and arriving at precisely 42 percent — Artingstall’s Brilliant London Dry Gin was born. Featuring a blend of 11 botanicals, including orris root, cassia, elderberries, and citrus, the new gin is clean, crisp, and aromatic.

Its elegant crystal decanter-style bottle was designed to suggest an old world spirit with a long history. Actually, the legacy of the family-owned Minhas distillery dates back to 1845, the year highlighted in scrollwork on the black and gold label, along with the product name — Artingstall was Feig’s mother’s maiden name — in a traditional font.

The Emmy-nominated Feig has another hit with his gin now that Artingstall’s won Best Gin and Double Gold at the WSWA (Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America) 2019 Spirits Tasting Competition. The Tasting Panel Magazine gave it a score of 94 and praised its “palate, bursting with floral notes.” It’s described on Shots Box as “perfectly balanced” and “as unique, refined, and entertaining as its creator.”

Visit Feig’s Instagram handle to experience his humor, his seemingly endless wardrobe of tuxedos and three-piece suits, and his energetic, if quirky, dance steps. These were on display during his 100 days of Quarantine Cocktail Time, when he entertained viewers each evening with his cocktail mixing skills, banter, and style while encouraging them to support COVID-19-related causes. Often joined by his wife, Laurie, and their dog, Buster, Feig motivated his homebound followers to arrange virtual dinner parties for fun and friendship during the quarantine.

One evening, he donned a silver and black brocade tuxedo jacket to create a Manhattan dedicated to his New York City friends and viewers, reminding them of an organization that supplies protective gear for medical workers. Another night, outfitted in a pin-striped suit and jaunty bowler, Feig saluted London in recognition of their just-announced quarantine, as he highlighted an organization that provides meals for kids. The cocktail of the night, said to be the Queen of England’s favorite, was Dubonnet and gin (Artingstall’s, of course).

This story originally appeared on travelandleisure.com .