Gin, the spirit of the future
Using only juniper and organic Tuscan iris petals, certified spices and a specially built Peter in Florence, is a new distillery in Pelago located in the hills above Florence. Entirely dedicated to gin – the spirit that’s taking Italy by storm at the moment – this is a project similar to the one launched years ago in the region thanks to the Sabatini family in Teccognano in the Arezzo province. They were the first to bring the flavour of London Dry Gin to Tuscany, using not only juniper but also a wide selection of botanicals picked directly in the family estate and surrounding areas. The result is distilled in London with the support of Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers, heir to eleven generations of London distillers and the help of Alessandro Palazzi, manager of the Dukes hotel in London. Peter in Florence, on the other hand, entirely plays on Tuscan turf: housed within the Eco Resort Podere Castellare in Pelago, the company produces a London Dry Gin made with ingredients that are (almost) exclusively Tuscan, the only exception are botanicals that cannot be sourced in Italy. The specialised micro-distillery and gin lab, gin-lovers will have a chance to discover and pick the herbs used in the production directly in the garden surrounding the building. In addition to this, also the opportunity to learn something more on the spirit, as well as taste the product thanks to a series of expert-guided tastings.
Peter in Florence: ingredients and production process
The ingredients used are exactly fourteen: juniper, iris – symbol of the city of Florence, using roots and petals – fresh bergamot zest, dried lemon zest, green cardamom seeds, rose hips, lavender and rosemary flowers, are all locally grown in small organic farms. But the recipe includes other ingredients coming from out of the country, such as angelica root hailing from France, cassia bark from China, coriander from Morocco, bitter almonds from Spain and grains of paradise from western Africa. Another indispensable ingredient is furthermore the water. The one used by the distillery is gathered at the well, analysed under the microscope and treated by reverse osmosis (or, hyper filtration), a process used to desalinate water which removes any trace of phosphate, calcium, heavy metals, herbicides, radioactive residue and other polluting molecules. A special alembic was built especially for the distillery by Green Engineering. The instrument is a smaller version of the historic Carter Head used in world famous distilleries like Hendrick's. This alembic is capable of maintaining all the parameters of the production process stable, such as alcoholic degree, density and temperature. It therefore allows to extract all the essential oils and aromas present in the botanicals more delicately thanks to vapour-infusion.
Peter in Florence | Pelago (FI) Florence | Via Case Sparse, 12 | tel. 055 8326082 | www.peterinflorence.com/default.aspx
by Michela Becchi
translated by Eleonora Baldwin