It’s a classic – and it’s booming again this year. At the Romantik Seehotel Jägerwirt, this trendy spirit are even made on their own – with a very special ingredient
Gin is usually distilled with juniper berries, but you add something else …
Right. We infuse our gin with the sap of Swiss pine cones. Swiss pine is a pine tree species that predominantly grows here in our region between Styria and Carinthia. We harvest the cones by hand at the beginning of June. It is a lot of work as they only grow in the highest tops of the trees. The cones are then peeled, the sap is pressed, and the gin is infused for six weeks. The result is a genuinely regional, handmade product of excellent quality.
Sounds like an interesting combination – and how does it taste?
The pine aroma harmonizes very well with the juniper note of the gin. Both have a slightly bitter taste. That is why we also add a bit of elderberry as balancing sweetness. We mostly sell this special gin as a mixed drink with tonic or, as we call it, as “Zin-Tonic.” The resins and oils in the pine are also antibacterial and lower the heart rate. So, it is like wellness from within.
Where do you think the ongoing gin boom comes from?
Gin is a high-quality spirit that also does very well in combinations. Naturally, as the classic cocktail with 4 cl gin and 8 cl tonic water. Or as a dry martini with vodka and gin.
… like James Bond drinks it?
(laughs) Exactly: shaken, not stirred! But there are many other ways to enjoy gin. In the past, people just added a slice of lemon, and that was it. Today, gin drinks are decorated with cranberries, rose petals, or cucumber and pepper. We also offer a smoked gin, for example. The smoke is blown into the glass and then covered. This is a delight for the nose and creates a very special taste-fragrance experience.
Host at the Romantik Seehotel Jägerwirt in Turracher Höhe in Austria