You probably heard, but T-Mobile finally succeeded in merging with Sprint last year. The decade-long dance came together with T-Mobile in the driver's seat, which might not have been the case if the merger went through five or six years back. That's why we've got "T-Mobile 5Gin" commemorative booze instead of, I don't know, Sprint Sangria? T-Mobile is in a strong position for the era of 5G, and it's commemorating its latest 5G milestone with 5G-branded booze. And you can buy it! Should you?
The 5G news
According to T-Mobile, the release of 5Gin is a celebration of its goal of reaching 300 million total people with its 5G network. In addition, its "ultra capacity" 5G, which is based on the 2500MHz Sprint spectrum, covers 150 million people. Initially, Tmo wanted to reach this milestone by the end of 2021, but it's done so months early.
This is all inside baseball carrier stuff—the number of people who can connect to T-Mobile's 5G doesn't matter on an individual level. You either have it or you don't. No amount of money will bring Tmo 5G to you if you're in the "don't" group, but you can still buy the new 5G booze. It costs A$30 for a 750ml bottle.
T-Mobile 5Gin taste test
So, let's get this out of the way first: this spirit will not make your 5G coverage better. It will, however, get you drunk. T-Mobile partnered with Heritage Distilling Company to produce a gin which T-Mobile says embodies the "un-carrier spirit." Although, do you get to call yourself the "un-carrier" after you've devoured one of the other carriers? I digress—T-Mobile's 5Gin is available tomorrow on the dedicated 5Gin website, and quantities are limited.
T-Mobile sent me a silly but fun mixology kit to show off the new gin. It includes tonic, bitters, lime juice, and of course T-Mobile 5Gin. I don't consider myself a gin expert, but I'm definitely a gin enthusiast. I can walk into any bar and order a gin and tonic. It might not be amazing, but I've never had a bad G&T. That said, a good gin is one of my favorite things to drink.
I'm used to promo food items being a bottom-of-the-barrel affair, but the mobile-optimized spirit is just fine. Most gin has a note of juniper, which is a fresh, pine-y taste that I find quite refreshing. Some gins are stronger in juniper (usually the cheaper ones), but there are also floral and citrus notes with varying degrees of spice. Taste is subjective, so don't take my word on it, but the T-Mobile 94-proof 5Gin is better than I expected.
I used T-Mobile's included tonic and lime juice to whip up a gin and tonic for testing. I also compared it to an identical beverage with Hendrick's gin, which I happened to have in the house. T-Mobile's gin doesn't have a very complicated flavor for me. It's not too strong in juniper, leaning more on citrus-y vibes and the floral aftertaste. I'd say it tastes better than bottom-shelf budget gin, but it's not up there with higher-end stuff like Hendrick's or Beefeater.
Should you buy it?
You don't have a lot of chances to buy 5G-branded alcohol, so maybe you're considering dropping the cash on it just for fun. T-Mobile will sell bottles for $30 plus shipping, and supplies are limited. However, if you just want something to make drinks, you probably should not buy 5Gin.
As I said, it's not a bad liquor, but it's not worth $30 if you want to drink it. Thirty bucks can get you a 750ml of something better, though sans 5G branding. The reason to buy T-Mobile's gin, if there is one, is to have a weird relic of the 5G rollout.
For whatever reason, 5G food is a thing as carriers and OEMs dive headfirst into the new wireless standard. In my collection, I currently have 5G coffee, 5G cake, and now 5G gin. If you want to add 5G booze to your collection, you're paying for the novelty, not the taste. If you don't drink alcohol, T-Mobile also has "5Ginger Beer" on the same site, created in partnership with Jones Soda. It comes in a 6-pack for $10.