For Jodi, Joao and Carl creating an Artisanal Gin together has been a much discussed long term goal and over Christmas drinks in 2019, they decided the approaching New Year would be the one in which they would make it happen and that Carls dad’s garage would be the place to do it.

The first thing the three decided was that their own botanical gin would of course be produced in Portuguese made copper still, and it would be one of the first purchases made for their new business. Things were happening!

As we know the year that unfolded was rife with complications and obstacles, so although having their still delivered was thrilling, it too was somewhat frustrating; as the world locked down, maintaining momentum with the process was difficult.
When it came to legislation, with government restrictions imposed, certain requirements became unachievable at the time, but the long lazy days of lockdown would be put to good use, they could all get really stuck into what would turn out to be an incredible amount of research. Not only into the gin making process, methods and history, what type of botanicals they were going to use, what equipment they needed, what type of glassware and labelling they wanted, bottling technique, and before all this could happen- what adaptations and renovations were needed to actually turn a garage into a distillery.

Faced with many meetings at their local Câmara, appointments with accountants and lawyers, at least the guys got good use out of their suits.

What was not so complicated, was trading the plethora of ideas they had for flavour profiles. As with all dry gins the key components include juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelica root, and since Alma is Algarvian they wanted their infusion to reflect their region, with fresh local citrus fruits, local wild rosemary and the iconic lemon verbena.
Due to the climate in the Algarve there is a variety of high quality produce especially at daily markets, selling locally grown fruits, berries, seeds, nuts and regional herbs, so sourcing a local supplier wasn’t a problem it was more a case of being spoilt for choice.

Finally, six months after their Portuguese made Iberian coppers still had been delivered, the distillation of their Praia da Luz inspired Gin could begin the traditional Alambique way. The initial approach with the first infusions was trial and error, the infamous lethal first batch burnt figuratively, if not literally into their memories. It was at this point they spoke with a consultant. From here on in it was a labour of love, of 48 hour infusions and distillation shifts, practicing with their ingredients, painstakingly recording every alteration, guiding them closer towards the perfect balance of flavours for the smoothest signature gin. It was a proud day in the distillery, tasting and then realizing they had captured Alma, and had successfully created their ‘Spirit with Soul’.