THE art of distillation

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After having carefully blended every botanical ingredient of our gin (juniper berries, monkey bread, coriander, carda- mom, grains of paradise, angelica roots, dried mango, ginger, nutmeg) in order to release all of their aromas, we obtained a mixture that macerated in wheat alcohol for 48 hours. Then, we filled the copper pot and put it over high heat. After an hour, the mixture started to simmer, so we turned the heat down to its lowest possible setting.

The alcohol vapours rose up the heater chamber and the swan’s neck (the two elements placed above the pot) to reach the column. Then, they slowly went up the cooling pipe (or worm) and, cooled by the contact with cold copper, condenses back into liquid, or distillate. At the end of the worm, we can find the parrot spout (porte-alcoomètre) from where our elixir (or gin) will start dropping. As this stage, it reaches almost 82% of alcohol... In French, this step is re- ferred to as the “mise au courant.” After that, the mixture remains over a very gentle heat for 3 hours, which allows us to collect around 200 litres of gin reaching 80% of alcohol. The art of distillation is a simple one: all you need is a good still, good ingredients and patience.

Lord Philippe, our Cellar Master, produces his brandies (or eaux-de-vie) using a Stupfler® still, manufactured near Cognac, in France. The exclusive Stupfler® system enables him to produce great brandies with only one distillation, wi- thout them having any inherent defects of alcohol made in other column stills (hardness, overheating, aggressive notes) or pot stills (loss of flavour). Rich, subtle, surprisingly smooth and sweet despite its 50% of alcohol, the Lord of Barbès.