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Social Gin

First there was Genever, the juniper-based national spirit of the Netherlands from which Gin gets its name.

Genever still exists today in young and old forms and is delicious unto itself. Gin first exploded in popularity during the Gin Craze in the first half of the 18th century, not because it was delicious, but rather it was affordable and accessible. Nowadays, and since the turn of the century, Gin has found new heights with spirits producers exploring and introducing more exciting and exotic flavours.

 

With Gin comes juniper, and is a must for gin to be… well gin. The most familiar and popular style is London Dry, with Juniper leading the charge and in the driver’s seat – a piney, tangy, and often a little citrusy style that most associate as the synonymous profile of modern gin. With the renewed interest and exploration of the category, producers began pushing the boundaries, with some producers even moving away from juniper to lead with other flavours.

Inevitably, with the coming of what is essentially Gin Craze part 2, other white spirit producers have turned to the enormous range of aromatic and flavourful botanicals and now you can find botanical vodkas, rums and even non-alcoholic beverages in your local off-license.

Defying the Category

 

So what other botanical spirits are out there and what’s new?

Well botanicals are nothing new to booze. In fact, the advent of botanical alcohol began as medicinal concoctions. The sex-glutted nobles of ancient Rome steeped their fruits and herbs in wine for restorative properties, and later the monks of the middle ages began using spirits instead of wine, sometimes using upwards of 130 herbs and spices! Some of these have stood the test of time, albeit modernly refined, like Benedictine and Chartreuse and even mulled wine and sangria.

We’re at a turning point where gin has re-exposed an appetite for botanical booze, but not necessarily the Juniper-led spirit we’ve all come to know and love. Now we have cross-category defying botanical spirits leading the charge. No/Low Alcohol botanical spirits, like our Give & Take, experimental koji spirits, botanical poitín, and exotic native spirits are just some of what we’re seeing today. 

Exciting times lie ahead for botanical boozers. It seems that juniper may have found a new place in the back seat but it’s gin we have to thank.

That’s all from me on Gin. Looking forward to seeing you all at Garden Sessions this Saturday to celebrate World Gin Day, where you can taste all of Stillgarden’s botanical and fruitful gins. You’ll even find a limited release gin made exclusively for the occasion!

 

Luke

 

Interested in making your own unique botanical spirt? Visit our Distilling Academy and design your own personal recipe with over 120 botanicals to choose from ranging from the traditional to the obscure. You’ll leave with a your own bottle of spirit (full strength but you can also make a low or no abv) distilled by you!

 

Boss Lady

Happy International Women’s Day to all of the women warriors out there! Whether it be a friend, a sister, a mother, a colleague or a mentor, show them how much you value their support and admire their hustle. Today, we’re highlighting five strong and talented Boss Ladies who inspire us. Get to know the lovely ladies we work with daily.

Federica Meli – Bucket of Cheese

Boss LadiesBucket of Cheese was founded by Federica Meli in 2020. A wonderful product of lockdown that we are so lucky to have in our Dublin 8 neighbourhood. Originally from Italy, Federica has been living in Ireland for the past 20 years. She describes food like a religion and in Federica’s eyes food is love and it brings people together. We can agree that there’s nothing better than a table full of food surrounded with family and friends! After working in hospitality for 20 years, with lots of grit and passion, she decided to start her own business and Bucket of Cheese was born. 

 

Federica supplies cheese, cured meats, tiramisu and all the goodness that goes with it for any occasion. She makes fresh hummus and chutney using the delicious ingredients growing in her garden while also supporting local farmers and businesses. She’s even mastered a tiramisu, Stillgarden style with the help of our Spent-spresso Martini! The charcuterie board boxes are a real crowd pleaser at our Distilling Academy Sessions and are now available online for a lovely at home treat. ​We are always in awe of Federica’s spirit of adventure when it comes to her food and her commitment to sustainable practices and our community is inspiring. Bucket of Cheese will bring a little taste of Italy straight to your door. Try all of Federica’s locally sourced, artisan products, and homemade recipes here. There’s something for everyone!

Helena Vukovic – The Flourless Baker 

Flourless BakerHailing from the beautiful country of Croatia, Helena first moved to Ireland 5 years ago. Helena was never a big baker but being Coeliac, she always found it challenging to find nice treats that she could have. Now, she brings tasty and flavoursome gluten free desserts to Dublin and beyond!  

During lockdown Helena took it upon herself to start experimenting with some Gluten Free dessert recipes so she could finally indulge her sweet tooth “almost” guilt free. This sparked an inner natural talent and from there Helena continued baking and developing recipes so she could share.  From this The Flourless Baker was born. Helena continues to amaze us with her creativity and drive. All of her Gluten Free goodies are handmade in D8 and we just can’t get enough, especially of the Stillgarden O’MARO Fudge

Helena now has a permanent stall in the Herbert Park Market every Sunday from 11am to 4pm where you can also get your hands on all of her delicious flourless treats when it reopens. We are also selling a 4 pack of sweet treats from the Flourless Baker to add onto our gift boxes options this March. If you are looking for a variety of Gluten Free treats that are also Vegan friendly, we can assure you The Flourless Baker will not disappoint. You can find delicious recipes here. 

Claire Buckley – Buck & Hound

Buck & Hound

Claire Buckley is the Boss Lady behind The Creative and Earnest Agency, Buck & Hound. Buck & Hound is a creative and hard-working PR, social, design and events consultancy based in Dublin. Claire is dedicated and enthusiastic in all she does and believes without passion, nothing truly ground-breaking can be accomplished.

“Being a woman in charge or ‘Boss Lady’, whatever your industry, comes with a certain level of responsibility. You have the unique privilege of defining a working culture by leading from within and by example. I have always been a firm advocate of the Kindness Economy,” says Claire. 

So how did Claire get here? After freelancing part time and working from her home office, her client base quickly grew. Claire expanded her team, from what had started out as just herself and her trusty pooch, Stella by her side. Buck & Hound was born in 2016 as a result, with one goal in mind: To create a nurturing and exciting environment that produces work for incredible clients that share her values. Claire and her dynamic team are such a joy to work with. Their commitment and expertise is unrivalled which makes for the perfect partnership. 

Emma Devlin – Rascals Brewing

Rascals BreweryRascals Brewing Company was founded in 2014 by Boss Lady Emma Devlin and her husband Cathal O’Donoghue. They were living and working in New Zealand when they developed a passion for the booming Kiwi craft beer industry. Their entrepreneurial spirit led them back to Dublin where they decided to open a craft brewery of their own. Emma worked in environmental science before she made the move to join Cathal in running the Rascals Brewing Company and we’re sure glad she did! 

They have since opened their headquarters in Inchicore, now our next-door neighbours and home to their pizza restaurant, on site off licence, taproom and brewery. If you’re looking to broaden your tastes, we recommend you try Rascals’ twist on traditional beer styles. You’ll be surprised what amazing options you’ll find in their off licence from Chardonnay Saisons to Milkshake Stouts. Next time you’re visiting be sure to check out our neighbours and enjoy Rascals pizza and beer you won’t find anywhere else but Inchicore. View their full range here.

Viki Baird – Stillgarden Distillery  

Stillgarden Boss LadiesViki Baird is Stillgarden’s one and only Boss Lady, known for her hustle, vitality and dynamic character. We even named a gin in her honour! Boss Lady gin is just as spirited and peachy as she is, created to celebrate all of the strong, victorious women out there like her. Viki motivates her team daily and without her courage and bravery she would not be where she is today. 

After years of experience in different industries in multiple roles, Viki knew she was ready to do something completely unique. With her new found adventurous spirit, thanks to her husband Pat, and strong determination the duo started the Stillgarden project in August of 2019 and haven’t looked back since. Viki feels fortunate to have built a great team to bring the project to fruition and looks forward to building on their success in the bright future ahead. Try our socially sourced spirits made by and for curious individuals at Dublin’s Independent Experimental Distillery we know and love as Stillgarden Distillery.

Join us in celebrating women everywhere today, and every day this International Women’s Day. To help support women everywhere even further, €2 from every Boss Lady bottle and €3 from every Boss Lady Gift Box sold will be donated to Women’s Aid. Shop Boss Lady gin here.