What did you do before creating Nysura Distillery and Ginacria?
I am an agronomist and I work as a Business Development Manager for a multinational company. Nysura Distillery is a dream come true where I have invested my passion, know-how and energy to make it possible.
What made you decide to create your gin/distillery, and what's the inspiration behind your gin?
As teenagers, poor quality Gin was within everyone's reach, but the effect was that I could not even bear the smell of gin for almost twenty years. Then one evening a high school classmate of mine offered me a Gin & Tonic. Faced with my clear refusal he explained that the world of Gin had changed in the last 10 years and that it was now wide and varied, made up of very low levels and very high peaks.
Since that evening I literally fell in love with gin and started studying its distillation methods, production, ingredients, styles, history and so on. I thus came to discover the vacuum distillation method at lower temperatures. During that process I decided that I wanted to create a 100% Sicilian gin. And so I did it!
Can you tell us more about the distillery and your distillation process?
Nysura Distillery is an independent micro-distillery based in the heart of Sicily in Nissoria, my birthplace (Nysura is the ancient name of Nissoria). At Nysura Distillery our focus is on innovation. Our spirits are distilled using the vacuum distillation method, a state-of-the-art process that allows us to preserve the most delicate fragrances of the botanicals.
Nysura Distillery is devoted to the territory, in a logic that promotes the freshness of the raw materials and botanicals harvested, by respecting the rhythms of nature and seasonal cycles. We have chosen to carry out every stage of the process ourselves, from the harvest of botanicals (which are all from Sicily), to distillation and bottling, so that we can closely monitor the processes and obtain refined and high-end craft distillates.
What can people expect and experience if they visit the distillery for a tour/tasting?
It will be a journey through the flavours and magnetism of Sicily. Visitors will be told what cold distillation is and how a Rotary Evaporator works, which botanicals we use, where we harvest and how we process them, what they smell before and after the distillation. They can distill some botanicals, taste them singularly and create their own gin to take home. And of course they’ll have a Gin & Tonic!
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
The biggest challenge was and is to develop recipes using only Sicilian botanicals and with a unique identity. We forage and harvest our botanicals from across Mount Etna’s steep slopes to the fertile plains of Catania. The juniper used, Juniperus Communis subspecies Hemisphaerica, is native to Sicily and is hand-picked berry by berry on the steep slopes of Etna. Foraging juniper berries on Mount Etna is a unique experience.
How would you describe your gin in 3 words?
Mouthful, rich and with a soul.
What's your favourite way to drink Ginacria?
I like to drink it neat, in a Gin & Tonic or in a Martini.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
Sipsmith London Dry Gin, Oxley Gin and Martin Miller’s Gin are among my favourite gins
What's next for you and Nysura Distillery - any exciting plans?
I like to distil any botanicals I come across and try to create new mixes. So in the future I could produce new gins with unusual botanicals.
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