Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Make Mine a Rifters Gin

Arrowtown Distillery and Rifters Gin has a focus this year on sustainability throughout its business leading to fresh innovations. QT Magazine talks to co-owner Hamish Bourke.

Sustainability has been a big driver for us with the introduction of our industry leading Demijohn program for bars and restaurants New Zealand wide. This allows bars to order five litres of gin in a specially designed vessel. Every Demijohn used eliminates 7.1 bottles from going into our waste system. Since its inception we’ve removed over 1400 bottles from waste. This year we are also focused on our export journey.

What has driven the current trend for botanical, boutique gins? Gin has changed vastly over the last few years and in New Zealand we have got so many unique botanicals to use for distilling allowing us to create unique and exciting new flavours. The market has responded enthusiastically to our gins which means a lot to us.

Hamish Bourke

What inspires your new gin varietals? We draw a lot of inspiration from the original Rifters who explored Arrowtown during the gold rush. We try to tap into their adventurous spirit and use locally foraged botanicals where possible. Central Otago has some interesting and exceptional botanicals to work with plus we have some of the best water in the world to proof our gins down.

What industry recognition has Rifters attracted? Our Original Dry gin won Best in Class at the 2022 New Zealand gin awards which was amazing for us competing against the best of the best. We have recently entered four gins into the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, two of them for their first time, so we are eager to see how they stack up in the final selections.

Stu & Hamish of Rifters Gin

Where is Rifters Gin available to sample or purchase? Local bars, restaurants and liquor stores are a great place to discover our Rifters Gin varieties. People can also shop online and our Rifters Journal is the place to hear about exciting new product releases.  Subscriptions are an important growth area for the business and we invite gin lovers to sign up online.