THE CREATORS OF SOLI GIN
The journey to producing our small batch gin made here in Cyprus
began with two dogs and a friendship spanning over 40 years.
Not to mention a shared passion for the perfect gin and tonic,
negroni, dry martini and the occasional cheeky white lady!
We are proud to announce that we are creating an outstanding small batch distilled gin that ignites the natural flavours and the essence of Cyprus.
Tim and Ron met over 40 years ago in Qatar. Both are known for their various entrepreneurial endeavours in both the Middle and the Far East.
Tim and his wife Marion (the co-owner of a successful property styling business) have had a long-standing relationship with Cyprus. Finally setting up home here six years ago. Ron and his wife Julie, are more nomadic. Currently, they are balancing businesses and homes in both the UAE and Cyprus.
Whilst walking two typically mad and energetic Cyprus hounds through the Akamas, on a slightly damp autumn afternoon, metaphorical lightning struck the intrepid dog walkers. In front of them, they found they were surrounded by trees redolent with Juniper berries. The essential botanical that gives all gin its distinctive flavour and aroma. And, the seed of an idea was planted.
Maybe they could produce their own gin here in Cyprus championing local botanicals! The idea further developed over an early evening G&T (naturally).
They discussed the possibility whilst sitting in Ron’s garden and began to contemplate the abundance of other botanicals available close to hand. Rosemary, Pink Peppercorns, Terabinth, and Hibiscus to name a few.
Research and development began. Both Tim and Ron went on a gin making course. Here they gained knowledge about botanicals and how to use them in the distillation process, and the effect they had on the quality and taste of the gin.
Much research was carried out and the partners sampled as many small batch and craft gins as they could! A small tabletop copper still was purchased. And, local botanicals foraged from gardens, orchards, and the Akamas. Even more obscure herbs and spices were found at The Spice House in Peristerona.
The alchemy began in Cyprus on a beautiful saturday morning in a kitchen in Neo Chorio!
The bottles were inspired by Ancient Greek amphora.
The Octopus on our label is from Minoan pottery paintings.
the colour of the bottles signifies the stunning Mediterranean sea and sky.
Different quantities and types of botanicals were introduced to the distillation process. Ongoing tasting at each stage in what was a surprisingly short period had produced a small batch of gin with which we were happy.
It had some distinct botanical and citrus notes that soaked well with tonic. Excited and enthusiastic by this little success, the next question was how and if the gin could be produced on a commercial scale.
The creativity and ingenuity of our long-term entrepreneurs were brought into play. Tim took over the lion’s share of the project management as Ron returned to the UAE. After much brainstorming and many meetings, the Kamanterna winery (formerly SODAP) agreed to dedicate a still for the production of the gin.
The team from SODAP, Stefanos and Lukas were invaluable at this stage of the process. Continually sharing their expertise on balancing alcoholic volume, aroma and taste.
And, helping to increase the number of botanicals needed for more significant production. Working closely with Tim and Ron, ensuring the gin retained the integrity of their original kitchen distillation in its more commercial form.
Testing and tasting were critical at this stage, and we really do need to thank many of our friends who were handed samples and who provided constructive feedback.
Peter, an expert small-batch gin distiller from Norwich (Tim’s hometown), was invited to come and taste the gin. His critique and advice on the final product is something of which we are very proud. A gin with hints of the flavours enjoyed in Mediterranean perfect for a summer sundowner in Cyprus!