I haven’t taken a poll so I’m not sure how other distilleries come up with their recipes for their Spirits but this is how we generally go about it.
We drink a lot! Wow such a succinct and to the point blog post.
If it were only that easy! The first thing we ask ourselves is, “What do we want to make (next)?, “Is this something we want to drink ourselves?” and “Is there a market for it?” The second question, I feel, being the most important.
Once we have decided on a Spirit, let’s say Gin, we then go out on a fact finding mission and “see” what’s available in the market. (See the easy statement) If you think all of a certain type of Spirit tastes the same, you need to go out and sample more. By tasting several different brands of a specific Spirit you start to see some trends and a few outliers. In the case of Gin, Juniper is the dominant flavor.
Once we get a good grasp of the available profiles out there, we start to build a list of what we liked and didn’t like and then start to build our Spirits profile. Of course, top of the list is it has to be sipping smooth, always.
In the case of our Native Gin, Caitlin had an idea she wanted to explore and immediately went searching for pertinent information. She had made tinctures of botanicals and played “Mad Scientist”. In the end she had created 13 different Gin recipes and I had to evaluate them (sometimes you just have to take one for the team). I spent the next few days pouring over the experimental Gins, taking notes. I had run into a problem, though, she had made 13 really distinct, good Gins. How to choose? So as any good scientist would do, we used “lab rats”, in this case also known as Mom, Dad, Steven and Julia. Yes, our family and friends are our lab rats.
I set down some rules of engagement and turned them loose. By the end of the night we had pared 13 down to 5. At this point I distilled small batches of all 5 of the finalists and we started the sampling process again. This time we pared 5 down to 2 and we were stuck. The two gins were different but we really liked both of them. What to do? (Cue ominous music, to bring tension to the situation). Then Caitlin has a brilliant idea. We will combine the two recipes for the final product. In the end we had created a very unique Gin our Native Gin and it’s a winner! (Time for a Native Gin and Tonic)