Expedition Gin is a unique project, created by Baptiste Gissinger, which should be spread over a decade. The main idea is to travel through four countries for each of the six continents (North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania), plus Antarctica, and to find and harvest the wild plants themselves. local with which it will elaborate 25 exclusive gins of soil which will be produced only once and only in very small quantity (500-750 bottles). Each gin will be distilled with local ingredients and with the collaboration of a distillery of the country.
In addition to this series “Collection”, a series “Great Explorers” should also see the day. It will consist of six bottles that will be produced on a larger scale, one per continent, and made from plants that made the limited series.
All this is done in an eco-responsible way by gathering only one third of the plants to allow them to grow and reproduce, as well as to serve as food for the local fauna. In addition, the displacements are offset by the purchase of carbon credits from Compensation CO2 Ecotierra.
To open the ball, Baptiste of course chose Canada whose edition was released on November 24, 2019, a gin with flavors boreal, salt and forest. Last year, he traveled the roads of eastern Canada with his travel still, in his vehicle converted by motor home, feeding mainly on what he was fishing and picking. All this is not improvised, there is a lot of research and reading beforehand to know how to locate and identify the plants, to dry them … It began with the shores of Nova Scotia then went to Newfoundland where he spent a month collecting 25 kg of juniper berries (Juniperus Horizontalis and Juniperus Chinensis) squatting in the cold … He then continued to Labrador to collect cones, branches, bark and pine sap. Back in Quebec, he picked sweetclover (Quebec vanilla), wild chamomile (which smells of pineapple when crushed), dry tree moss, and labrador tea harvested in the spring ( flavors of floral honey) and autumn (toasted notes). Initially, he planned to macerate Nova Scotia seaweed in the final distillate for oceanic notes, but since the juniper berries themselves were coated with sea salt … It’s about a hundred pounds of aromatics that he finally returned. He collaborated with Cassis Monna & daughters of Île d’Orléans, and made the base of his gin by distilling their famous blackcurrant wine. The alcohol was redistilled with aromatics to make a gin very dry and nature with iodized touches and a beautiful sensation of fruity honey on the tongue. To appreciate nature after having allowed it to breathe in the glass for about ten minutes.
But who is this nomadic distiller who has gypsy blood flowing in his veins ?
Baptiste Gissinger is of French origin, born in Brittany but having grown up near Annecy, where his father operated a dairy farm and produced cheese, which he began to look after to help him from the age of 11 years.
At age 15, he went on a two-month trip to India. He is studying commerce. At 23, he had already moved 32 times! He was working for a supermarket when he decided to pack everything to go on an adventure, but since his grandmother had throat cancer, he decided to take care of her before. It’s with $ 500 in his pocket that he arrives in Canada at the age of 25 … It does not stop there, he went around Australia in a truck, left Paris in Lapland on a motorcycle, the latter having broken he crossed the Russia hitchhiking, Mongolia on horseback to arrive in Beijing where he was an English teacher for 6 months. He was also a fashion designer for a tailor in Vietnam, selling Australian cowboy hats on the US East Coast, worked on an oil rig in Alberta, created Talea Bistro in Quebec, and Sul’Side, do Vancouver-Ushuaïa (Southern Argentina) in a mini van bought on Kijiji (15 countries over 6 months). He has worked for the distillery Artist in Residence (Waxwing bohemian gin), he is a consultant in opening and implementation of distilleries and in spirits creation, he leads conferences and tastings on rum, and he is lately co – Founder of the Maison Livernois. Add that to perfect his knowledge of flavors, he followed a training in building perfumes in Grasse in France. In short, this passionate has no roots, even if his nest is now in Quebec, he needs to regularly go out to meet human beings from elsewhere, to discover their country and to immerse themselves in their cultures.
Long life !
Photos by : © Nemo [ photographe ] for Distilleries Canada