While the worlds of virology and immersive theatre may seem like a strange pairing, it’s turned out to be a great combination for gin making at new brand Animal Spirits.
Slovakia-born virologist Dr Lukas Radosa and theatre producer Eva Liparova, the duo behind the new craft spirits brand, are launching the first product in their range this month: GIN01 – The Rabbit.
Distilled with a corn base spirit and 10 botanicals including cardamom, Kazbek hops, Sichuan green pepper and magnolia berries, its makers describe The Rabbit as a “bold, lively and curious” spirit that “comes with a kick”. The London Dry-style gin is made at Thames Distillers.
Founded in Bermondsey, south London, Animal Spirits has set itself a mission to create premium spirits with scientific rigour, exploring the characters of the animal kingdom while protecting nature and the environment.
Lukas and Eva have been developing the company and products for three years and decided to push ahead with a UK launch in 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Using his distilling knowledge, Lukas – who has a PhD in microbiology and a level three qualification in spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) – devises the recipes based on animal personalities and stories created by Eva. In a Lewis Carroll-esque way, the duo invites people to journey ‘down the rabbit hole’ and find the true character of the animals portrayed.
Lukas said: “Animal Spirits started as a creative outlet for exploring what I know about natural products, how to learn about distilling and my love of gin. I know how certain botanicals affect our physiology and senses and I wanted to create a gin that would be inspired by these properties and result in a spirit that comes with a story and scientific rigour.”
Eva added: “We want our spirits to feel a bit like meeting animal characters in Victorian London – not in the cages in the menagerie but in its best-kept secret, an underground speakeasy down the rabbit hole. It’s here where the animals meet at night and where their true spirits come alive. We want to cast you away into that speakeasy and mingle with them.”
GIN01 – The Rabbit is available to buy on the Animal Spirits website.