Lucie and Stewart's Grain to Glass Gin & Vodka Story
Lucie is originally from Zurich and Stewart is from New Zealand.
We love our retired racing-greyhounds and this is why a portion of each sale goes to greyhound welfare and other good, animal related, causes. Our greyhound George is featured on the bottle. Janey, the extrovert, is not so happy about that.
We have always admired those distillers that make their own Grain Neutral Spirit (GNS) from barley and use this as their base spirit for their grain to glass gin and vodka journey. Only a few distillers in New Zealand do that, as this process is very time consuming. Nontheless, the mouthfeel of those gins is extraordinary and the barley based gins always seem to be amongst the Gold Medal Winners in competitions. Hence, we decided we wanted to do the same.
For several years, we produced barley-based gin and vodka for our own and our friends' consumption and refined and re-refined our techniques.
Then Covid-19 came along and gave us the impetus to get started commercially. After all, a good gin is more vital in a pandemic than not.
So, with a combination of Kiwi ingenuity and Swiss attention to detail we got going.
Our goal is simply to produce the highest quality gin and vodka. Early on, we decided on a few guiding principles in order to get us started:
- We will make our own grain neutral spirit and not buy-in mass produced base spirit from multi-national providers, because we want to ensure the highest quality and traceability by controlling the entire production and distillation process. We only use barley from Gladfield in Canterbury for the fermentation.
- We would find the most advanced still we could, to aid in the extraction of the, more or less, 15 botanicals to form the layers of flavour for our gin. Our still does this through a liquid infusion extraction process. This involves circulating the GNS through the botanicals a minimum of twenty times, which extracts all the flavour. It’s why our gin packs such a multi-dimensional hit.
- We also decided to use Antipodes bottled water for the extraction process as well as to cut the final spirit down to the desired alcohol percentage. We think Antipodes has one of the finest neutral profiles available and complements our gin and vodka. We use the same bottled water that you buy in restaurants.
- We don’t use any filtering techniques to add clarity or adjust flavour – what you see and taste, is exactly what comes from the still.
- Finally, we decided that, in order to be able to control the process and ensure the highest quality, we would only produce in very small numbers – most batches are a maximum of seven bottles. That’s why we sell by the batch, because due to the hand-crafted nature of what we do, each batch is slightly different and you get to choose your preferred characteristics.
Selling by the batch also gives us the freedom to try new combinations and techniques.
Label Design by Esther Sinke.
Product photos by Bryce Carleton
Website built by Matt Martel.
Bottle is Attitude from SaverGlass and is possibly the heaviest bottle for it's size in existence - 1.2 kilograms - the weight goes into the shoulders and base.
Bottles are etch printed and kiln fired printed by The Glass Printery.
Box design and manufacture from Wood Garage NZ.
Barley is from Gladfields Malt.
Corks are from Lynxy Cork, Portugal.
Beeswax is from Honey Trap.