Time for a tipple? Here are three gin joints to try out.
Denzien Urban Distillery
NZ’s first urban distillery is about half-way down Wellington’s Lombard Lane. It’s the brainchild of Mark Halton who started making gin in his apartment. Fast-forward a few years and Halton now has this distillery, R&D lab and tasting shop, where he serves small-batch gin varieties such as Te Aro Dry, flavoured with 11 botanicals including horopito and kawakawa.
East Tamaki is where you need to go to find the gin distillery that gets its name from NZ’s 1919 prohibition vote. This is gin with an attitude – and home-grown botanicals such as Manuka honey and Otago cherries. Flavours include pink and pineapple gin. They also brew a fine malt whiskey, using some of the best barley in the world.
Elemental Distillers Ltd
Everyone knows Marlborough is the poster child for wine but when we weren’t looking, Ben Leggat was setting up Elemental Distillers. Leggat developed a taste for good gin while living in the UK for 14 years. So he and Simon Kelly established this distillery in Marlborough’s Vines Village. From stylishly converted containers, they make hand-harvested Roots Dry Gin and bitters.