Richard König is co-founder and managing director of Saint Charles Organics GmbH. Together with pharmacist Alexander Ehrmann, he loves to tinker with new products for Saint Charles. Usually there is a concrete plan behind it, but sometimes passion simply rules. As in this case, where a completely new gin was created in cooperation with the Farthofer distillery. But how did the idea of creating one's own apothecary gin come about? Find out more about the background now: The lemon balm began to blossom. The ideal time for harvesting. Rosemary and coriander were also available in our own garden. After 18 attempts to brew their own gin, it was time to add new herbs to the existing base blend, which consisted of juniper, cardamom, angelica, coriander and a touch of citrus, among others. The first gin with local botanicals was born. Around 20 more runs were to follow until a crucial local plant found its way into my little hobby distillery: Masterwort.
Pharmacist Alexander Ehrmann told me countless times his favourite story from the trove of local home remedies: "My grandmother used to tell me that when they were children they had masterwort in every trouser pocket and should always chew on it. Then they wouldn't get sick!". Masterwort was a natural panacea centuries ago and was even considered a miracle cure. But does masterwort fit in with the classic botanicals?
The world needs (no) more gin!
Even if many claim that the world doesn't need another gin: when tradition meets a lot of passion and the right people meet who are burning for the same thing, it is inevitable. The apothecary gin was born. With the basic recipe in the bag, it was off to Öhling near Amstetten (Lower Austria) to put the finishing touches on the gin. Josef Farthofer, organic gin pioneer of the first hour, was immediately enthusiastic about this extraordinary recipe and went one better with additional local botanicals.
First, additional botanicals were selected and carefully macerated. Josef controls this to the minute so that the aroma is optimally transferred into the distillate. The base alcohol is always added to the gin and in the case of Apotheker Gin, how could it be otherwise, it comes from the grain of the brewer's wheat variety, which grows in Farthofer's own organic fields. The added water to achieve the right alcohol strength comes from our own source.
A new gin category is born
The result? The first apothecary gin with the local masterwort, which has a refreshingly fruity and tart note. Difficult to classify on the usual aroma wheel, Apothekergin created a new category. A finely tuned symbiosis of botanicals with a powerful charge of regionality and passion. Bottled, of course, in a beautiful amber glass apothecary bottle with a fine glass cut, which is eager to be used even after it has been emptied.
The Apothekergin should definitely be tasted neat, as it is already convincing neat despite its 45% alcohol content. You can buy Apothekergin directly at the Saint Charles Apotheke, at the Saint Charles Store Vienna and at selected mixologists behind the bar. And all without a prescription!
My tip: Classic, simple with gin and tonic (preferably Thomas Henry) with a slice of ginger.
- Main ingredients:
- Juniper (Juniperus
- Masterwort (Radex Imperatoriae)
- Other ingredients:
- Orange peel
- Lemon peel
- Rose petals
- Calamus root
Alcohol: organic Hermann brew wheat
Water: locally sourced
Gin variant: London Dry