In combining the Italian flair for la dolce vita with a commitment to eco-friendly and organic principles, Profumi D’Italia’s Biostilla Organic Gin is the first certified-organic premium gin to hit the shores of South Africa. While Italy might not be the first country to spring to mind when thinking of gin, this new artisanal brand is causing us to reconsider. ‘What immediately stood out for me when I tasted the Biostilla is that the quality of the product is just superb. It’s a smooth, premium sipping gin,’ says Giuliana Abrahamse, marketing and operations director for Profumi D’Italia Marketing.
Beyond the tiny hamlet of Turmbach lies the Walcher distillery where, for nine generations, the family has been perfecting the art of distilling award-winning eaux de vie. Now, with a global thirst for gin, the master distillers have turned to the bitter spirit. Because the distillery is surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery, it made perfect sense for the aromatics of the Biostilla Organic Gin to draw inspiration from the hillsides, including wild junipers, coriander seed for spice and citrus notes, orris root for texture and depth, and elderflower for freshness and perfume. The final flourish is the inclusion of the flowering tops of clary sage, a plant native to the northern Mediterranean and long used in traditional herbal remedies.
The result? A premium gin crafted in the sought-after style of a London Dry with the intriguing complexity of Mediterranean botanicals. On the nose expect a delicate whisper of the juniper, with a palate of sweet citrus and floral notes giving way to a pleasing hint of bitterness in a lingering finish.
Celebrate the arrival of this organic gin with a refreshing rhubarb and fennel cocktail by Dave Muller and Lana Porcello.
rhubarb and fennel organic gin cocktail
¼ fennel bulb, untrimmed and coarsely chopped
1 375-ml bottle dry vermouth
1 large rhubarb stalk, thinly sliced, plus more, shaved, for serving
½ cup sugar
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
¾ cup Biostilla Organic Gin
Combine the fennel and vermouth in a glass container (save the vermouth bottle). Cover and chill for two days. Strain back into bottle through a fine-mesh sieve.
Bring the rhubarb, sugar, and ½ cup water to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until mixture is pink and slightly syrupy. Allow to cool, then transfer to a blender and purée until smooth (you should have about ½ cup rhubarb purée).
Combine 350ml fennel-infused vermouth, rhubarb purée, lemon juice, Biostilla Organic Gin, and two cups of ice in a large pitcher. Stir until cold. Pour the cocktail into ice-filled old-fashioned glasses and garnish with shaved rhubarb.
Makes 8 cocktail servings.