Jeff Barringer and Danise Lofstrom, proprietors of the Bruinwood Estate Distillery, were all set to release this year’s limited edition Botanical Garden Gin, the third edition in a collector series, when Barringer decided to halt production. Each year’s gin has its own unique flavour profile and includes ingredients from Bruinwood’s own garden and from the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden. Half the proceeds of the gin sales support the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden.
“I wanted to find the award-winning magic from the first edition. We made some adjustments and we got where we wanted,” Barringer explained. That first edition, a “roots and trees” theme included native plants sourced from the Botanical Garden, won Bruinwood first place in a national competition. “This year we’ve used culinary herbs.”
Distilling began earlier this summer, but with only 100 individually numbered bottles in the run, and Bruinwood’s penchant for excellence, it’s hardly a surprise that Barringer and Lofstrom opted to go above and beyond for this edition.
Barringer describes the spirit as having a medlar fruit base with notes of lemon verbena, thyme, and lavender. He adds, “Nothing has been measured, so we can’t ever duplicate this exact recipe. We knew in our minds what we wanted to achieve, and we didn’t want to release it until it was perfect.”
“It’s their best Botanical Garden Gin yet,” claims local taste connoisseur, Rosemary Bates Terry. “Assertive juniper, but well merged and married to the citrus and other botanical flavours.” As in prior years, 2022’s edition features a gorgeous botanical label designed by Barringer himself.
Barringer and Lofstrom’s long connection to the Botanical Garden began well before the distillery was born, when Lofstrom was a member of the garden and Barringer a beekeeper there. The limited-edition Botanical Garden Gin came out of a desire to give back to a place they both love.
Botanical Garden Gin can be purchased from Bruinwood’s tasting room at 2040 Porter Road in Roberts Creek, or from several local farmers’ markets along the Coast, including the Saturday Sechelt Market.