Larusée creates Gintiane: a gin tribute to Neuchâtel icons
Larusée, the Fenin (NE) distillery known for its absinthes and for distilling the unique Swiss pastis, is launching a new creation these days: a gin!
“I have wanted to create a gin for a long time, whose distillation process is more or less the same as that of absinthe,” says Jean-Pierre Candaux, master distiller and co-owner of Larusée. “We are recognized in the world of anise and the idea of stepping out of my comfort zone was exciting. I started to think about a few recipes and the first tests turned out to be very interesting. But my partner was not keen on embarking on this creation!” He adds, laughing.
The distillery is indeed seeking to develop a coherent range of products. While the creation of a Swiss pastis has surprised more than one, the connection between pastis and absinthe – added to Henri-Louis Pernod’s roots in Locle – gives meaning to this project. “But we had no hook for gin, no meaning to give to it. And making a gin just to make a gin is irrelevant in an ultra-competitive market, “remarks Nicolas Nyfeler, the other co-owner of the distillery.
But the idea of flavoring the gin with gentian arose… “The people of the mountains continue to pull up gentian roots by hand, especially in the Swiss Jura. It is a plant with a powerful taste, which must be dosed with care so that it does not dominate all the others ” underlines Jean-Pierre Candaux. The combination with the cocoa bean is essential very quickly when the two partners go to the tasting. “It was obvious, the cocoa brings harmony and gives a great elegance to this gin. This also allows us to combine two icons of our canton in a bottle: on the one hand gentian with the Neuchâtel mountains, on the other cocoa with the industrialization of chocolate by Philippe Suchard in Neuchâtel. We have the meaning that we seek to put into all our products, ” rejoices Nicolas Nyfeler.
This London dry gin, considered by enthusiasts to be the Rolls Royce of gins, since it is still brut (without added sugar or other artifices), is a gin with character that reveals notes of cocoa and citrus fruits on the nose; on the palate, the first notes of gentian give way to a floral finish where rose and violet compete.
Barely created, already awarded!
Gintiane was awarded a Gold medal at the Concours International de Lyon last April. To be distinguished in a city known to be the capital of the senses and of taste is a magnificent reward for Larusée.