French distillery Comte de Grasse has launched its first product, a gin dubbed 44°N, to marry the worlds of distillation and perfumery.
The spirit is produced in Grasse, a city known for perfume manufacturing, and it draws inspiration from this heritage.
In practice, this involves using 20 of the region’s botanicals to flavour the gin, including bitter orange peel, immortelle, mimosa, lavender and local honey. The brand reports that these ingredients result in bright citrus notes on the nose and a deep floral body on the palate.
The distillers were also influenced by perfume extraction methods, employing a mix of ultrasonic maceration, vacuum distillation and CO2 supercritical extraction to craft the spirit.
According to Comte de Grasse, this mix of distillation techniques supports a mission of environmental sustainability, as it ‘uses substantially less energy and natural resources than traditional gin production’.
The brand expresses a commitment to sustainability in the community, as well. Botanicals are sourced from Renouer, a cooperative specialist in hand-picking, preparing and drying ingredients, with the goal of reintegrating the area’s professional community after many perfume businesses moved to more industrial regions.
‘Here in Grasse we are blessed not only with fertile lands for growing intriguing and rare botanicals, but also extraordinary people with gifted knowledge all contributing to the creation of 44°N,’ said Comte de Grasse founder Bhagath Reddy.
‘Our shared ambition [is]to work together in creating methods of production that best serve our local environment, both social and physical.’
44% abv, RRP c£66, comtedegrasse.com