American distiller Ben Bonoma and his British wife Sarah are on a mission to make New Zealand famous around the world for its gin.
They bought existing distillery equipment and now make around 200 bottles a day of Dancing Sands Vodka, Sacred Spring Dry Gin and barrel-aged gin.
After launching to market early last year, the entrepreneurs are hoping for a bumper 2017 after sales of the Sacred Spring dry gin more than doubled between August and December. The brands are now stocked in more than 100 liquor stores.
“There were a couple of things we wanted to accomplish,” said Bonoma. “The first was to produce a high quality craft spirit that would sit happily alongside the big international players.
“And we also wanted to be really transparent about our ingredients. The alcohol industry can be quite secretive, but we are open about using manuka leaves in some of our gin for their aromatic properties. Spicy notes are created with cardamom and we also use coriander seeds, licorice and angelika root.”