Going Dutch

Introducing our Isle of Harris Gin to new Dutch friends felt a little like bringing coals to Newcastle or selling ice to Eskimos. The Netherlands are, after all, inventors of Jenever, their juniper-based national drink and a spiritual predecessor to the style of London Dry Gin we make here in Harris today.

We’re pleased to say that the Dutch are now embracing gin in all its glory, and we were only too happy to help them get their hands on our island spirit. We have been helped in this regard by two wonderful friends of the distillery Merel Biesta and Dirk Saltzherr.

We'll learn more about their story shortly, but meantime we’d like to thank them so much for their support and, in particular, for organising an incredible event to share our Isle of Harris Gin with the country’s finest food and drinks tastemakers.​

With their invaluable help, we gathered some of the Netherland’s top journalists to fashionable restaurant ‘Hanger’ on Amsterdam’s waterfront, for a fabulous evening of Harris Gin drinks, before, during and after a superb meal by renowned chef Rico van Ede.

The menu on the night, inspired by Harris gin botanicals, boasted dishes such as Scallop Ceviche with bitter orange, coriander and pepper and Lamb Tartare with juniper, accompanied by a Harris G&T with white peppercorns and rosemary garnish. Each course was surpassed by the next, and all were absolutely delicious.​

Also in attendance was Simon Erlanger, our managing director, who had the opportunity to tell our island and distillery story in person, to many who had not even heard of the Isle of Harris. It was a rare privilege to be able do so in such special surroundings.

Please enjoy these photographs of the night and join us next week for part two, where we introduce Merel and Dirk’s own story, and reveal their special ties to our spirit still ‘Eva’.


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