Meet the gin with north German character
The story behind German gin brand Gin-Hude is one of love – specifically, the love between co-founders Karina and Jörg, and their shared love of gin. This pair of aficionados has invested time and money in the search for great gin and they have put love and passion at the centre of their own spirit, which is produce near Hamburg.
Jörg spent many long nights at his computer, combing through forums and blogs, studying the history of gin and the work of small distilleries today. He visited bars, attended gin tastings and distilling seminars. Then the thought appeared: “I can do that myself!”
The couple, who live in Kayhude and trained in business administration and business law, decided after their final gin distilling seminar that they would launch their own business, and four weeks later it was registered. They experimented with small stills and let their friends participate in tastings while they perfected their gin recipe – one on which their circle of friends unanimously agreed.
The first batch of Gin-Hude comprised 799 bottles. Alongside organic juniper, it contains eight certified organic botanicals – including the unusual combination of mint and coconut – and its base alcohol is also certified organic. Karina recommends serving the gin as a dessert companion (she even goes as far as to recommend a chocolate and ginger mousse), while Jörg recommends a serve with Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic, to emphasise the gin’s mint notes.
Before their gin was even distilled, Karina has reserved a stand at the Hanse-Spirit show in January 2020 in Hamburg – facing the prospect of being at the fair without any gin. However, the first batch of Gin-Hude came through in time. The bottles were stored in their living room and numbered by hand. Their appearance at the fair – on a stand that Karina had built with a carpenter – was a success and the gin proved a hit with visitors.
Jörg said, “It is important to me that I can drink a gin straight. A gin should be soft. And it should not taste like toothpaste water. Or make me hungry for tomato mozzarella. That’s why we experimented for so long. Many gins taste like a primary botanical, such as citrus fruit or herbs. We, on the other hand, bring two botanicals to the fore!”
He continued, “Our London Dry Gin is distilled at least three times with the botanicals and brought to 40% ABV – all this was very important to us. When you pour it, it is round and soft. With the Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic we emphasise the two main botanicals.”
After their success at the Hanse-Spirit event, the business took off. Karina, a passionate Mecklenburgian from Spornitz, took over the marketing, telephoning bars, wine merchants, farm shops and retailers, and so far there are 19 partners and sales outlets for Gin-Hude. While Covid-19 slowed down the work considerably, the couple say there will soon be a few more points of sale.
They have recently opened a Gin-Hude shop in the neighbouring village of Oering, and the brand will also be holding seminars in the future. “We already have 12 registrations for the next gin seminar. However, because of Covid-19 we have to postpone this again and again. But the participants don’t want the money back. They want to participate. As soon as we are allowed to, we will start again!” says Jörg.
The next batch of Gin-Hude is expected to be ready soon, either before the end of the year or in early 2021. Jörg says, “Love for the product is very important to us. We do not make a mass product. Every bottle of Gin-Hude is produced with a lot of love for the lover.”