WHAT MAKES KIRSTY’S GIN DIFFERENT?
Kirsty Black, Arbikie’s Master Distiller, talks about why our gin is different
Gin is, in essence, flavoured vodka, which just happens to have juniper as the main ingredient. Most people are surprised when they find this out.
The majority of gin companies will buy in a neutral, vodka-esque, spirit to be redistilled in the presence of a selection of botanicals, including juniper. This is common practice as creating a base spirit from scratch is not only costly but a complicated process requiring a lot more equipment. Buying a neutral spirit to be redistilled is the most cost effective way to create a gin.
At Arbikie, however, we are lucky enough to have the ability to make our own base spirit. When I was working on “Kirsty’s Gin” we tried the same recipes with a bought in neutral spirit and our own potato vodka, it was clear from the outset that using our own vodka better complimented the flavours of the botanicals we have chosen.
Some of my favourite gins are made from GNS and there is definitely nothing wrong with this approach. As we had the ability to make out own spirit, however, we were able to take advantage of this allowing us to control every step of distilling process so we knew exactly what ingredients had gone into our base spirit to make the gin. This approach allowed us to produce a base spirit complimentary to our botanicals, which in turn created a superior tasting product when compared to using a GNS base.
Arbikie has put provenance and traceability of ingredients at the heart of everything we do. Like most gin companies based in the UK we do have to secure some of our botanicals from outside sources, however, we have recently started to grow our own botanicals. It takes time for them to become established so it’s all work in progress! By distilling our own base spirit we know precisely what ingredients have been used which provides us with the flexibility to tailor our spirit to best compliment our botanicals.