The Insider's Guide to New Zealand
Somewhere special to drink
Kate Galloway's gin garden is overflowing with curiosities, including thorny sichuan pepper bushes, cotton wool-like puffs of meadowsweet flowers and wormwood, one of the traditional ingredients in absinthe. Most of the botanicals for the gins she makes with partner David Ramonteu at Hastings Distillers come from this garden or growers in the Hawke's Bay, except for juniper, which she hasn't managed to grow in New Zealand. Yet. Savour those flavours at the tasting room on Heretaunga Street East. Kate, who was a winemaker at boutique winery Alpha Domus for 13 years, loves the free rein she has with gin-making. “The joy for me is discovering all the nuances of flavour in the botanicals. Because we're not a bar, we're a tasting room, and we try to talk to our customers if they are interested in learning more about ginmaking.” Kate initially wanted to add more than 100 botanicals to the distillery's signature Abertine Gin but paired it back to 38. This herbaceous tipple was awarded a gold medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2020. As well as gin, Kate and David also make a bitter-orange aperitif (like Campari) called L'Opera, named after the historic Opera House located around the corner from the distillery, and they are currently developing their own vermouth, the end goal being a 100 per cent New Zealandmade negroni cocktail. 231 Heretaunga Street East, Hastings.
(06) 870 3991, hastingsdistillers.com