What did you do before creating your gins and distillery?
Both of us have a diverse and long experience in the field of gastronomy, which was and is an integral part of our lives. From managing a business in a gastronomic area, running a restaurant, through experimenting with own products to a passion for food and drink in general.
What made you decide to create your gins and distillery?
Paradoxically, it was tonic as the first idea that led to the establishment and opening of the distillery. Reflecting on the variety of tonics led us to make our own syrup, which allows everyone to mix the tonic either as bitter or as sweet as they want. Logically, we subsequently lacked an ideal gin in terms of taste. And so the idea of the distillery and a vision of a perfect, authentic Gin & Tonic were born. The distillery was then opened in August 2020.
Can you tell us more about the distillery?
After visiting several distilleries in different countries, we knew that our beautiful Arnold Holstein copper distillation boiler needed a vintage industrial space. After a long search, we found suitable premises in the area near the centre of Prague - in the former industrial part Holešovice
Can you tell us more about the distillation process and botanicals?
We chose a boiler by Arnold Holstein, who has been at the forefront of the craft for four generations and thanks to which, the distillate retains all of the fine aromatic components. Before the distillation itself, herbs are macerated in a fine grain distillate. Then we add fresh botanicals and seasonal products to the aroma basket according to the type of gin. We use, for example, organic citrus peel, flowers or local fruit. Distillation takes place in a single run. We have botanicals of the highest quality, collected from around the world. We love creative work, we like to play with raw materials and we definitely love tasting the results of the distillation.
What can people expect and experience if they visit the distillery for a tour and tasting?
It is the unmistakable atmosphere of a small distillery and the relaxed pace of the multifunctional Vnitroblock complex in Pražské Holešovice, where our distilleries are located. It is also tasting several types of gins, and definitely the rich explanation of master distiller Ondřej about botanicals and their origin, the history of gin and the distillation process. The tour is focused mainly on the experience of the guests and the goal is to enrich their knowledge about gin, but also to see them leave satisfied and smiling.
What have been the biggest challenges/achievements, or your favourite story so far?
The biggest challenge was the whole administration and the preparation for the opening, which took almost two years. We opened during the Covid-19 pandemic, so we, like many other businesses, had to be flexible and resilient at that difficult time. We must say that these difficult beginnings have drawn us together and taught us that hard work and a love of craftsmanship can overcome anything. We are so thankful to everyone who enjoys our gin, comes back again and orders our limited editions.
How would you describe your gin in 3 words?
Fresh, aromatic, smooth.
What's your favourite way to drink your gin?
We drink it in a traditional way, such as in a Gin & Tonic with a slice of grapefruit to garnish. We have created our own low sugar Tonic Water, which perfectly pairs with our gin.
Whic gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
Stockholms Brenneri Gin, Poli Gin and Kalevala Gin.
What's next for you and Garage 22 - any exciting plans?
We will have a focus on seasonal and local ingredients and we will be experimenting with new gin flavours. Another big topic is fermentation, but we won't reveal more just yet. :)
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