What did you do before establishing Mallorca Distillery?
Both originally from Newcastle, we have had quite the journey so far, from working on luxury super yachts around the world, to opening and selling an award winning bar-restaurant in the centre of Edinburgh. We have now focused our attention on recently opening Palma’s first craft distillery creating premium products made from the island, for the island.
What made you decide to create your distillery and gin?
In June 2015 we decided to sell the restaurant and move to the beautiful island of Mallorca to settle down and start a family with our now 1 year old daughter Amelia. It was in Edinburgh that we saw the rise of the craft distilling revolution first hand, with the launch of local products such as Edinburgh Gin and The Botanist, and as soon as we arrived in Palma we knew that there was a real market for quality artisan spirits that would truly represent what Mallorca has to offer.
How did you go about creating your distillery and gin?
After 2 years of research and a few delays along the way, we officially opened Mallorca Distillery in 2018, the first craft distillery to open in Palma de Mallorca. Our goal was to take everything the island had to offer and somehow capture this in the look, feel and taste of our gin. So we started searching for produce and botanicals that grow naturally on the island and worked hard to create a gin recipe, which we feel, represents Mallorca for its delicate flowers, zesty citrus and earthy vegetation. After a year spent developing the recipe for our first product, we officially launched PALMA GIN in September 2018.
Can you tell us about the distillation process and botanicals?
We are a small craft distillery (approximately 200 sqm) with a Spanish 500 litre copper pot still located in the industrial heart of Palma de Mallorca.
PALMA GIN is distilled using only the highest quality products available. Each botanical has either been hand foraged from the island or is certified organic, giving the spirit it's beautifully smooth finish. Organic Wheat Spirit is first macerated for 18-20 hours with the unique base botanicals; including Mallorcan Juniper, and local fresh citrus peel.
After maceration the distillation commences, passing the vapours through an infusion basket containing the more delicate botanicals, including Wild Almond Flowers, Lavender, Orange Leaves, Lime Zest and Tomato Branches. The combination results in a lightly floral and citrus gin with a smooth earthy finish. A true taste of Mallorca.
And how about that stunning bottle!?
After the taste comes the bottle design, which is inspired by the traditional Mallorcan tiles, known as ‘suelo hidraulico’. This was the key inspiration and starting point in creating the stunning tile design, which took over a year to complete and is printed with organic paint directly onto the bottle using a specialised process, resulting in an eco-friendly and recyclable product.
The company logo also humbly acknowledges the Mallorcan heritage, taking inspiration from the iconic rose window in the enchanting La Seu Cathedral, the biggest rose window in Europe and one of the most iconic spots in Palma.
What can people expect and experience if they visit Mallorca Distillery for a tour/tasting?
We offer distillery tours which last approximately one hour, giving you an insight into the exciting world of gin, its history and how we make our products for €15pp including G&T and tastings. Or you can take part in a 'Make Your Own Gin' Experience, lasting approximately 3 hours, this includes a tasting of over 30 different botanical distillates, numerous G&T’s and you get to take home your very own bottle of your blended recipe along with a bottle of any of Mallorca Distillery’s products for €120pp.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
It has been a rollercoaster to say the least, moving to a non-English speaking country, setting up a distillery and trying to create a unique and local brand whilst trying not to impose on the traditions of the local Mallorcans has been the biggest challenge.
What has been the biggest achievement so far?
In 2019 PALMA GIN has won numerous awards including ‘GOLD’ at The San Francisco Spirits Competition, two awards at The London Spirits Competition, ‘GOLD’ for the spirit and ‘BEST SPIRIT BY PACKAGING’ out of all contestants, as well as ‘GREAT GOLD’ at the Spanish Catavinum World Wines & Spirits Competition, the only Spanish Gin to ever win this award. This has definitely been the biggest achievement for us this year.
How would you describe your gin in 3 words?
Citrusy. Earthy. Floral.
What's your favourite way to drink your gin?
Definitely a G&T with a quality natural tonic and peel of orange or in a classic Negroni to add the perfect depth of flavour.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
We always love to try new gins but some favourites have been Harahorn Gin, Seppeltsfield Road Barossa Shiraz and Spirit of Hven Navy Strength.
What's next for Mallorca Distillery - any exciting plans?
We are working on an exciting new recipe incorporating the local grape varieties of Mallorca, look out for it coming next year!