The Audemus Distillery is a little atypical for the Cognac region, where we usually encounter giant copper beasts which can churn out hundreds of litres of their spirit a day. In fact, there are only a handful of distilleries around the globe that create the way we do. Originally inspired by the enigmatic work of Sacred Spirits of London established a few years prior, we understood the power of a small and agile offering in the world of distilling.
We operate a vacuum distillery out of the distiller’s (Miko’s) living room in the centre of Cognac. The principle behind this method of distillation is simple and now well documented. By lowering the pressure inside the still, we lower the temperature at which the alcohol will boil – meaning we avoid cooking the botanicals we distill; ensuring the freshness of flavour is maintained. Distilling is always distilling – evaporating and condensing; nothing more – however, it is a process that is infinitely complex in its simplicity and allows for a myriad of detail.
Every botanical we distill is done so individually, with its own specific method. The maceration time, botanical ratio, alcohol ABV, distillation time, pressure and temperature will all depend on the botanical’s character. If we’re looking for delicate flavours – everything will be done with a gentle touch. If we’re looking for spicier and stronger notes, we will increase the intensity at which we will extract flavour. Juniper is a brilliant example to illustrate this; for Pink Pepper Gin, we distill our juniper at 55 degrees extracting medium spice and intensity. At higher temperatures we’d extract more resiny (terpenic) flavours, at lower temperatures we’d extract greener and more citrusy notes.
Once we have distilled all of the botanicals which go into the gin – we blend them together in their specific ratios with a French neutral grain spirit and filter it lightly before bottling; giving the different elements time to rest before every stage of production.
Our form of distillation is at the cross-roads between distillation, perfumery and chemistry – and is an entirely empirical operation. There are no textbooks that give us direction. Everything is born from experimentation and a love for the work we do.
We don’t just make gin, we make all sorts of products – liqueurs, bitters, hybrid spirits that don’t fit into any category and so on. Our methodology changes depending on what we’re making.
Being in the heart of the ‘Spirits Valley‘ in Cognac we have innumerous resources at our fingertips, from coopers to traditional distilleries. While we work with innovative and new technologies to produce drinks that are representative of our epoch, we maintain absolute respect for the time, passion and effort needed to create beautiful things.