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Gin with a stainless steel twist

Gin and tonic is a popular tipple in New Zealand – but we should pick up the shakers and create different gin cocktails at home, the CEO of an award-winning distillery says.

Greytown Distilling Company [GDC] won silver for its ‘Tweed’ gin and a bronze for its ‘Apricity’ gin in the Botanicals and Other Spirit category at the 2023 New Zealand Spirits Awards announced earlier this month. Its ‘Settler’ gin won a bronze medal in the London Dry category.

“It’s thrilling to have won these awards when we have only been on the market for five months,” GDC co-founder and CEO Adam Blackwell said.

“It’s a testament to our distiller and gin craftsman, Peter Warren, that every gin we entered in the awards picked up a medal.”

GDC packages its gin in stainless steel flasks instead of glass bottles, which head of business operations and co-founder Gavin Hodder said was a point of difference in a competitive gin market. Flasks are in 750ml or 375ml sizes.

The flasks were designed to be practical for storage and transportation, as well as Earth-friendly, Hodder said.

“Stainless steel is very easy to recycle. We encourage re-use and offer our customers $5 off their next purchase when they return the flasks to us. And because the gin remains in darkness inside the flask, the plant-based botanicals remain unaffected by light.”

Distiller Warren wasn’t interested in novelty or coloured gins. “His focus is on subtlety and creating masterpieces that gin lovers will enjoy and appreciate. Gins that will become classics,” Hodder said.

Blackwell said GDC was focused on what would create “an incredible at-home gin experience” for customers.

“We’re all about helping our customers create beautiful cocktails and gin-based drinks, like martinis, at home without any fear or pretentiousness,” he said.

“Most Kiwis default to a G&T, which is a fantastic summer drink. But gin can be so much more.”

This year’s Spirits Awards received 426 entries from 24 countries, with 281 products from New Zealand. The entries were assessed by 30 judges from New Zealand and Australia.

Hodder said GDC would look to expand its range of distilled and brewed products: “We’re looking at all sorts of options, from cider made with Greytown apples, to other distilled spirits that we can make right here.”

Names given to GDC’s range of six gins are a nod to Greytown’s heritage, culture and climate: including ‘Settler’, ‘SFA’ [Small Farms Association] and ‘Festival’.

The winter gin ‘Frostbite’ is a “tribute to the sub-zero frosts that greet Greytown’s best winter days”, with flavours of pink peppercorns, garden mint, and locally grown lemon peel to be enjoyed in front of the fire. ‘Apricity’ means “the warmth of the winter sun”, with flavours of nutmeg, ginger and Greytown honey.

Gin cocktails suggested on the company’s website include the Silver Fox Gin Fizz, the Vesper Martini and the Greytown Gin Sling. GDC offers gin tastings at Blackwell and Sons emporium on Main St, Greytown.

For more information, visit greytowngin.com

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