Our dad gave us the opportunity to make gin. My brother and I laughed, and I told him, “Dad, we’re Ketel guys. We’re vodka. We love vodka. We love what we’re doing, and gin is for older people. It’s that heavy juniper and all that stuff.” Dad said, “That’s exactly right, boys. That’s why I’m tasking you.” We were much younger. It took us many years before we got to it. We have a family creed: “Try not to make mistakes.”
We made mistakes. My dad told us to forget all the botanicals. Forget everything you know or think you know. Go out there and dream what you would like for that spirit to taste like, to smell like. We took a whole different approach.
One day, my wife and I were going to a charity event. She put on some perfume. It was a beautiful perfume. The smell was roses. I’m like, “Wow. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if gin could smell like this?” At the same time, my brother was back in Holland. He was doing his thing, and he’s mixing all of his normal breakfast stuff and he’s thinking, “Oh my God. If a gin could taste like this…” We put our thoughts together. Suddenly, we are here with fruit and flowers—something that’s outside the realm of normal botanicals. We have raspberries, we have peaches, we have the rose and so much more that we’re not able to share, but there’s a lot more when you taste it. You’ll figure it out.