What did you do before creating Grace Gin?
Lila worked in multinational companies in finance, systems and HR, before we set up a premium drinks importer here in Greece. In 2016, after meeting Katerina and Chara Katsou, very soon we realised we share the same values and ambitions. Then along came Grace…..
What made you decide to create your gin?
The idea was always there but after the Greek crisis of 2015 it gave us the impetus and inspiration to showcase the best of Greece and to create something of which Greeks could be proud. In our case it was a premium Greek gin.
Can you tell us more about the distillery?
Avantes Distillery is second generation family run distillery that was established in 1963, and since 2017 they have proudly produced Grace Gin for us. Grace Gin is produced in a traditional copper still in small batches.
Can you tell us more about the distillation process & botanicals?
There are 13 carefully selected botanicals that are used to flavour Grace Gin using the "steep and boil" method. The heart of the first distillation is collected and re-distilled with the remaining botanicals and also extra juniper. A vapour infusion method is also applied to extract the essential oils of some of the botanicals. For each batch, three different liquids each with a different percentage of botanicals are and double distilled and blended to create Grace Gin. The specific botanicals that give our unique flavour include Kritamos, myrtus, schinos and orange blossom.
What have been the biggest achievements so far for you and Grace Gin?
Actually, being a Winner in The Gin Guide Awards 2018 has been the biggest achievement. We had started the year before and this was the first competition we had entered and we won the category. After that Grace Gin won another 10 awards in multiple international competitions, but the first award will always hold a special place in our hearts. It gives you a feeling that you are on the right track and lifts the spirits of the whole team. Also, going to the USA to showcase our gin to distributors and consumers was a wonderful experience and lots of fun.
How would you describe your Grace Gin in 3 words?
Proudly sophisticated & Greek, or Inspired by Greek Nature.
What's your favourite way to drink your gin?
Obviously in a G&T, with orange zest to bring out citrus, or in one of our simple Greek cocktails influenced by the flavours of Greek islands and towns.
Which gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
Edinburgh Seaside Gin, Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, and Isle of Harris.
What's next for you and Grace Gin - any exciting plans?
Lots in the pipeline - hopefully expanding the Grace Gin range and a few other even more ambitious ideas!
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