Wednesday, 07 February 2024 15:25


Written by  Staff Reporters

Hastings Distillers' new aperitif, Constance, is a nod to its French counterpart, Lillet, but made from Hawke's Bay wine and organically grown botanicals.

The distillery founders, Kate Galloway and her French partner David Ramonteu spent time in David's home country over the northern summer, observing a renaissance in the pre-dinner drink.

"It's known in France as 'the barman's friend'", David says. "Possibly because it's so popular with both young and old. It's the ideal combination of refreshing and slightly fruity - a very charming, summer afternoon or early evening choice."

The aperitif, named for ceramicist Constance Spry, is a blend of local wine, biodynamic raspberries, liquorice, cardamom, bitter oranges, clove, rosemary, star anise and gentian root.

"There was something very special about Constance Spry," Kate says. "She was one of the first to introduce vegetables and weeds into floristry, and I suppose there's a correlation there between her less conventional approach and ours, when it comes to gins and liquers. We also love the natural world and how we can shape what comes from the earth into something that is sipped and savoured.

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