Our Tiki Gin begins life with our cane spirit, made from scratch. We add these sugars to warm water and mix in a proprietary blend of yeast. The yeast will eat the sugar during fermentation and replace it with alcohol. As they create these new molecules they also create much of the aroma and flavor in the spirit. Because our gin is not barrel aged, we want to coax out plush, vibrant, delicate flavors that bring structure to the spirit. After fermentation the liquid is referred to as ‘wash’ and it no longer has sweetness. Instead it tastes of apple blossom, pear and biscuit. It finishes fermentation at about 8% abv.
One of the ways we break with tradition is to ferment for longer at a cooler fermentation temperature. Rum was traditionally a rushed spirit that was fermented at around 105 degrees in 24 hours (whiskey is about 5 days at 80 degrees). When yeast are in such a hot environment they may work more quickly, but they also are more stressed, and they release damaged and unremarkable flavors into the wash. By giving them a perfect home at 78 degrees, we allow them to thrive and produce more desirable flavors. We also ferment for 6 days. Most of the sugar is converted to alcohol in the first 48 hours, but the mingling of the yeast with the wash after this period gives richness and complexity to the spirit, just as it does in whiskey, wine and beer.
Our Single Batch Gin is triple distilled. The first distillation is done in a pot still. The 8% abv wash is placed in the still, and it is warmed up to cause the alcohol vapors to rise, along with the essence of the flavors we created during fermentation. We capture these vapors, and it condenses into a liquid we call ‘low wines’. These low wines come out around 35% abv.
We take these low wines and redistill them. When we distill the Gin we typically run all 8 of our plates to create a light, ethereal, pure spirit. The vapors are again collected when they condense and we call this liquid ‘spirit’. It comes off the still almost neutral in character, this will allow the spices and herbs of the gin to shine.
We mix this spirit with pure water to bring the proof back down to the correct abv to steep in the fresh ground herbs, freshly zest citrus, and spices. We don’t want the abv to be too high or it will extract bitter components of the herbs. We don’t want the abv to be too low or we will not get enough character. We allow the herbs to soak in the spirit for about 36 hours. We then redistill this running all 8 of our plates and collect the aromatic vapor. This is the Tiki Gin spirit.
The Tiki Gin spirit is transferred to stainless steel tanks after distillation. The spirit is proofed with very soft water in very small slow steps. If the spirit is proofed too rapidly, it can damage or mute some of the flavors. We bring the spirit to 100 proof and let it ripen. As the spirit sits in these tanks, slowly but surely the molecules constantly join and break apart, causing new and more complex flavors to be created. As these chains get longer and longer, the flavors become richer and deeper. The spirit will become more pungent and perfumed until it reaches a vibrant and harmonious bouquet. We bottle our gin unfiltered. It will not cloud up when added to water or ice. It has a rich and supply texture.
Once the spirit has fully developed its flavor, we bring the spirit to 95 proof using soft water. We then bottle the spirit unfiltered to retain all the flavor and mouthfeel we have created. We do not add any sweeteners, mouthfeel agents or artificial aroma essences of any kind. We want to capture the essence of the herbs and spices, and bring them to you.