A multi-award-winning distillery in the heart of Queenstown is celebrating the region’s resilience with an exclusive Queenstown Edition Gin.
The limited-edition gin has been released by Broken Heart Spirits to mark its ninth birthday, described as ‘warming and rounded’ to sooth the tastebuds in the heart of winter.
On the eve of its release Broken Heart owner and master distiller Joerg Henkenhaf and his team had reason to celebrate further, with news the Queenstown Edition Gin was awarded gold in the NZ Spirits Awards 2021.
The awards are in their third year and celebrate the growth in world-class spirits produced by ever-increasing numbers of New Zealand distillers, benchmarked against overseas imported spirits.
The Queenstown Edition Gin becomes the twelfth product in a wide range of locally crafted gins, rums, whiskies and liqueurs produced by the distillery.
It combines botanical essences from its Navy Strength Gin (which weighs in at an impressive 57% proof) with the alcohol content of the company’s Original Gin, creating a new and unique flavour profile.
Joerg says the Queenstown Edition Gin is reflective of the unique Central Otago landscape and seasons. It’s distilled in Arrowtown using untouched pure spring water from Paradise, flowing from Mount Aspiring National Park.
Authenticity and simplicity are at the heart of the outstanding spirits created by Joerg, who comes from a German family where making wine, cider and schnapps was part of everyday life and recipes passed through the generations.
He develops his own recipes for the eleven natural botanicals across the flavour profiles of spice, floral, dry, freshness and earthiness which are ‘carried’ by the alcohol and captured in each bottle.
“This gin celebrates what Queenstown is all about, it’s Queenstown in a bottle,” says Joerg.
“I like my gins to be clean and clear. The more alcohol, the more flavour it can hold, but I create a balanced gin where the potency of the botanicals creates a different flavour profile while still being super-simple.
“Whether visitors or locals have spent a day on the slopes, on the trails or on the golf course, sitting down to a glass of this with tonic and a sprig of thyme or rosemary captures the essence of Queenstown’s heart.”
The story of Broken Heart is one OF a broken heart, when Joerg’s good friend Bernd Schnabel, with whom he’d spent three years working on a gin recipe, died two weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.
“It was a very sad time and my heart was broken, so I decided that I could share this superb gin with the world and call it Broken Heart in his memory.
“All these years later I’m still inspired to create new things. A recipe is something which starts in your head, it’s all about smelling and tasting.
“At the start, my dream was to see my bottle in a bar in Auckland and today we’re selling gin and our other spirits in 18 countries and winning awards. I live for Broken Heart, it’s my life.”
Those awards keep rolling in – last month Broken Heart learned its Navy Strength Gin had been awarded a Gold Award and its Spiced Whisky a Bronze Award at the Tokyo Whisky and Spirit Competition 2021.