We had a cracking evening with Miko Abouaf and Ian Spink from Audemus Spirits as they taught us all about their superb Pink Pepper Gin through a virtual tasting.
Live from their sitting room/distillery in the heart of Cognac (yes, they make gin in Cognac!) they talked us through the meticulous maceration process of the countless botanicals which go into making this lively, complex gin – so good, it can even be sipped neat.
If you couldn’t make it on the night, be sure to watch the video for an interesting insight into the distilling process, plus fantastic tips on different ways to enjoy Pink Pepper Gin.
There were so many audience questions on the night, we couldn’t get through them all – but as promised, we put your questions to Ian Spink after the event, and here are his answers…
Can you add gin in soup?
So long as the flavours and ingredients complement each other, why not?! An easier way to get a sense of gin in soup is to include juniper berries in the recipe; a sweet potato or pumpkin and juniper soup is truly delicious, but go gently with the berries as they are potent and can overpower if you add too many!
Why did you decide to process your spirit under vacuum and not the traditional copper still?
It is an incredible way to extract the true flavours from plants. You have a greater control over the temperature at which you distill, and that precision produces much fresher, brighter flavours that are closer to the original botanical.
When will Audemus Pink Pepper Gin be available in the US?
We’re currently focusing on our existing markets, investing the time and energy needed to spread the word 😊. However under current FDA rules one of our key ingredients, tonka bean, is heavily restricted and until that changes we are unlikely to be able launch Stateside. Stay tuned on our social media channels and we’ll keep you updated.
Can you share the origin of the name Audemus?
It is Latin for “we dare”.
Is there a Christmassy dish that can pair with gin?
Last Christmas I doused the pudding in Pink Pepper Gin – the vanilla, tonka, cinnamon and honey present in the gin paired brilliantly with the cake! For a Christmas breakfast/brunch treat, we brushed and cured salmon with Pink Pepper Gin, added a little seasoning, and some chopped lemon verbena and dill to create Gravlax. Served with a French75 cocktail – heavenly!
How did you choose your peppercorns? Would you consider paprika? Could be warm and spicy…?
Miko had handpicked some pink peppercorns whilst he was in Spain, and decided to distil them when he was experimenting on the recipe for what would become Pink Pepper Gin. At that stage he was developing a honey gin, but the addition of the pink pepper distillate added a bright, floral punchiness without any bitter aftertaste, and thus, the spirit was born! Paprika is from a different family of peppers, but we’d absolutely consider it for a different product.
Are there any other ways of drinking gin?
It’s a really flexible spirit, and any quality gin can be enjoyed in a variety of ways – neat, over ice, in a G&T or numerous classic gin cocktails. Our favourite is a negroni (you can also enjoy a mulled Pink Pepper Gin negroni if it’s cold outside!). Experiment and play around with the spirit until you find your perfect match 😊.
How should you store gin?
There are no hard and fast rules, but make sure you keep the lid or the cork on the bottle as if left open over a long period of time the alcohol in the spirit will evaporate. Some people enjoy serving straight from the freezer, but it really comes down to personal preference.
What is the name of the Island where they grow the vanilla?
São Tomé and Príncipe.
How long is the distilling process?
There isn’t a straightforward answer to this one! Both of our vacuum stills hold 30 litres of botanicals infused in alcohol. From this we can produce 40 litres of distillate over the course of a day, and those 40 litres are concentrated enough to flavour approximately 400 litres of finished product. Each of our botanicals are distilled individually and the time it takes to produce the finished product will depending on the batch size – the next batch will be 22,000 litres of Pink Pepper Gin, which will take two months to produce with the stills working 24/7.
If you’re from the UK purchase Pink Pepper Gin here.
If you’re from France purchase Pink Pepper Gin here.