Gin: The Beginning

Explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen was born in our village in 1778, in the distillery of Lahhentagge Manor. He wrote himself into the history books when he discovered the last continent to be found: Antarctica. We re-founded Lahhentagge Distillery 238 years later and are following in Bellingshausen’s footsteps to take on the world.

In the beginning, there is always a woman. In the winter of 2016, Maarit came home with the clear idea to turn her passion for herbs and flavours into a gin — the first artisan gin in Estonia.

Most of 2016 was spent building on this idea. Partly finding the right herbs from the meadows of Saaremaa; but first and foremost, on finding the right people –friends who were passionate about gin and who were ready to drop everything they had been doing to make some amazing drinks together.

“You have to enjoy the ride, otherwise it’s all kind of pointless, right?”

To create something special, Maarit (and the rest of us) spent weeks in nature, looking for something that could give the product a distinctive taste. Something totally local, but which could travel afar. When barmen in different countries are saying, “This is unique,” as their first comment, we are clearly onto something.

The uniqueness of the gin clearly gives an extra kick to some of the most classic cocktails. For example, Lahhentagge has been turned into a stunning Naked Martini in Moscow and an amazing Negroni in Helsinki.

Now at the end of 2017, we have moved on from the beginning — we have been on the market in Estonia for a few months. We are working on our next products, opening new markets, investments… our hands are full! We could not do it without enjoying the ride though :)

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The story was first published on Lahhentagge blog in December 2017.