Waitoki Washhouse Gin combines traditional botanicals of Juniper, Coriander and Angelica Root, along with the citrus explosion from fresh orange and grapefruit. On the tongue, a fresh peppery spice from Kawakawa & Horopito and another local addition from a tree that is 200+ years old.
Region: Waitoki, New Zealand
Goes with: Drink on its own or mix it with your favourite premium tonic
Washhouse botanicals are sourced from local suppliers, their fruits are either grown or sourced locally and they use NZ spring water in the distillation process.
The name, Washhouse Distillery is a nod to where it all began – a backyard laundry – and the home of Waitoki’s very own gin.
It started out when three neighbours, living in a quiet rural cul-de-sac decided to join forces and make vodka in their laundry. Over several months, several failures and many batches later they began to combine science and art, and detail everything they were doing – all the while improving the quality of vodka produced using a simple reflux still. And this continues today – the neighbours, meeting up in the laundry, distilling vodka.
But it wasn’t enough to quell the curiosity of one, and Steve went on to attend distilling courses and explore different botanicals and processes. In early 2019 he purchased a beautiful handmade alquitar copper still, to which all our gin recipes are developed in today. His ultimate goal was really just to make a good tasting gin. One that he enjoyed making and we enjoyed drinking – and without any pretence.
Along the way, the family joined the journey and every part of The Washhouse Distillery in Waitoki is handled by them. Washhouse Distillery has been a real labour of love. Steve, Kathy and their three kids are all founders of the Washhouse. Just like their gin, they are not pretentious…there’s no suffering of fools and they all have to have pretty thick skin to handle the wrath of their family digs. It’s kind of like the culture of the gin – what you see is what you get.
Everything is made by hand and they distil every batch on their property, in Waitoki. The first still they worked with to develop Waitoki Gin was a beautiful (small) handmade 5L copper alquitar still – which continues to be used today to experiment with new recipes. Today, they use a copper alembic still, handmade in Portugal and commissioned in what used to be their garage. It’s still small-batch, it’s still very manual – but that’s the way they like it. Or, at least – that’s the way Steve likes it and the family think that’s the way it should be, for Waitoki Gin at least. They measure up each and every ingredient in every batch…and then Steve sits next to it as it distils…
Silver - 2020 New Zealand Spirits Awards - Gin
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