By PHILIP CHANDLER
A paradise for gin and spirits lovers opens at Queenstown’s Arthurs Point today.
Gin Garden, including a private tasting room, has been developed by Arrowtowner Joerg Henkenhaf, whose locally-distilled Broken Heart spirits have won, to date, 19 international and national awards.
‘‘It’s been a dream of mine for many years to serve our products in one beautiful, cohesive space, and have a dedicated tasting room for the first time in Broken Heart’s history,’’ German-born Henkenhaf says.
Designed with a European flavour, the venue’s immediately in front of the La Residence du Parc apartment complex.
At its heart is a tasting room which can be pre-booked for tastings for up to eight people.
Staff will explain how Otago botanicals and pure water from Paradise, near Glenorchy, form the backbone of their spirits.
Alongside opening-menu cocktails, Gin Garden guests can order cocktails based on their favourite flavour.
A newly-brewed Oktoberfest-inspired lager will also be served.
Designed by a kitchen team led by local restaurant industry stalwart Glynnie Barry, the menu features locally-sourced delicacies with a distinct European influence such as squid pickled in gin spices and BBQ-roasted beef brisket.
From Colorado, in the United States, Gin Garden’s GM Megan Agras has 10 years’ hospitality industry experience.
Broken Heart’s name stems from the heavy heart Henkenhaf felt after the sudden death of his close friend, Queenstowner Bernd Schnabel.
They’d been working for three years on a gin recipe, which he dubbed ‘Broken Heart’ to honour his friend’s memory.
Hailing from a family steeped in making wine, cider and schnapps, Henkenhaf’s original dream had been to see one of his bottles in a bar in Auckland — his gin and other spirits are now sold in 18 countries.
Gin Garden’s opening hours are 11am till 10pm — it’ll also have an off-licence.