One month into 2018 and, with New Year’s resolutions falling like flies in a citronella factory, a crafty Taranaki gin distillery is offering an annual commitment much more likely to succeed: a gin membership.
Juno Gin, the creation of husband-and-wife duo and New Plymouth locals Jo and Dave James, launched their signature range Extra Fine gin in early 2017 and also create limited edition seasonal gins that capture unique aspects and flavour notes of that season.
“What makes gin special is the way an almost infinite variety of flavours can be infused in the distilling process,” explained Dave.
Finding the combinations of tasting notes that really sing is what excites Jo. She compares the journey of exploring ingredients and matchings as a distiller’s playground—and the gin membership is Juno’s way of involving gin fans in this flavour journey.
“The concept for the gin club came from our customers,” said Jo. “They wanted to have first dibs on each seasonal gin as they are released—especially given the fact these sell out fast. Much like the recent fascination with craft beer, there’s a growing base of gin aficionadas who want to immerse themselves in the intricacies of what happens in the gin-making process and the stunning array of flavours that result.”
This week marks the release of their Summer 2018 seasonal gin. “This summer has been extraordinary, and we have made a gin to match that is vibrant and enticing,” said Jo. “Two of the key botanicals that feature in Summer 2018 are the potent angelica, grown at Kaitake Farms in Oakura, and locally-sourced bergamot oranges. It’s tongue-tingling and delicious!”
Juno Gin Club members will expect to have each seasonal gin delivered to them upon release of that gin and also receive a bottle of Juno’s signature range Extra Fine at sign up.
Jo and Dave see the humour of comparisons between their gin membership and gym memberships. However, they also hope that Juno can play a role in shifting New Zealand’s drinking culture to one more focused on enjoyment rather than over-indulgence. Jo is a former CEO of Drug and Alcohol Counselling Services and Dave is on doctor’s orders not to drink, so they’re ideal candidates to be leading the charge.
“We want to provide a platform for people to truly enjoy the flavours and experience of our gins, rather than just the after effects of the alcohol,” said Jo.