44°N: The spirit that bridges luxury perfume and high-end gin
Gin innovation has been taken to new heights with the launch of perfume gin 44°N, a bold fusion of flavours that appeal to the senses of sight, smell, and taste, writes Codelia Mantsebo.
Once upon a time, a slice of lemon or lime in your gin was just about as exciting as ordering gin and tonic got (minus the alcohol of course). Today, Instagram is flooded with candy-cotton pink drinks, G&Ts decorated with home-grown garnishes and edible flowers, and gins and cocktails inspired by retro sweets.
According to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), the UK purchased a mind-blowing 73 million bottles of the juniper-based spirit in 2018. And with the gin scene rising, innovation has been at the forefront of the drink’s revolution. We’ve seen the launch of ant gin (made from actual insects), pea gin and meat gin.
With unique gin creations fighting to stand out, there’s been an increasingly blurred line between true innovation and marketing gimmick. But the exquisite 44°N gin is no gimmick.
Comte De Grasse’s 44°N gin comes from the fragrance capital of the world, Grasse, delicately created to take the smell of exquisite fragrances and infusing them into a high-end gin. The result is a hedonistic, floral gin masked with savoury peppercorn spice.
Combining the traditional extraction techniques of perfumery and innovative distillation technologies, 44°N strikes the perfect balance between innovative gin distilling methods and cutting edge perfume extraction technology.
Inspired by the perfume region of Grasse, 44°N (for 44 degrees north – the latitude of Grasse) boasts locally sourced fresh ingredients including rose centifolia, mimosa, jasmine and lavender, thanks to Côte d’Azur’s warm weather.
The elegant gin, introduced by Marie-Anne Contamin, Master Scientist & Innovator, blends the ingredients with 22 delightful botanicals, including alexanders, samphire, verbena, grapefruit and immortelle, using a series of techniques including ultrasonic maceration, vacuum distillation and CO2 supercritical extraction.
Carefully curated to be sustainable and energy-efficient, the process starts with ultrasonic maceration that extracts the best notes of each ingredient a lot quicker than traditional gin distilling techniques.
This is followed by vacuum distillation, lowering the boiling point and preserving the flavours in a 100L flask, simultaneously increasing the level of alcohol whilst keeping a perfectly crisp aromatic profile. Finally, the extraction by CO2, an additional step originally used by perfumers, extracts very precisely the right amount of essential oils from botanical essences.
Created to reflect where it’s born, 44°N pays homage to Grasse; the drink is designed to capture the seaside sentiments of the beaches of the French Riviera on the tongue. Nearly all of the 22 ingredients of the gin are supplied by local producers, while the unique distillation process also permits the feeling of the Mediterranean in taste.
The perfume-inspired cork and top represent the sun and its rays, whilst the pattern at the bottom of the bottle was created by hand to embody the bottom of the sea.
If one gin sums up the taste of Grasse, it’s 44°N. The luxury gin is unlike any other gins on the market, infusing the link between perfume and gin. This elegant gin from Grasse is a revelation. Sip the drink with a tonic mixer, neat, or on the rocks.
44°N can be purchased on shop.comtedegrasse.com at €75 and directly on the Comte de Grasse app, available on IOS and Android.