DarlingHoney gin and liqueurs are products of a lot of love and passion. What started as a singular dream has become a dream of many, from family to friends, and together we hope to keep delivering spirits that people will remember for centuries. The goal when we started this project was to create a premium product that not only pushes the boundaries of environmentally friendly distilling, but also brings something new and exciting to the market. At the start of this venture only a few brands worldwide had been using honey in their products and even less distilled it from mead. Considering our history in beekeeping and that we own multiple hives, we saw an opportunity to fulfill a gap in the market.
Most of you are probably wondering why honey? There are many reasons. The simplest answer is we just expanded our passion from harvesting honey to creating products with honey. When we did that we discovered that whilst honey is quite complex to work with, it created a intricately flavoured spirit. All it took was a lot of patience and a lot of failed attempts. We now pride ourselves on creating spirits that bring out the delicate nuances and complexities of honey, contributing to a flavour that is unlike any other. None of this would be possible without our bees and we make sure to treat them like royalty.
Our venture started out by making liqueurs. We searched the web for days on end for various unique ideas to find our starting point. We settled on various forms of the famous drink Krupnik that has its origins in Poland. We experimented for months, trying all kinds of spices in various quantities. We finally settled on a recipe from which our spiced honey liqueur was born. From there we played around with multiple different concepts and added a plain honey liqueur to enjoy the untainted joys of a pure distilled fynbos honey vodka infused with the same honey to give it a touch of sweetness with a delightful full-bodied mouth feel. A while later we added our HoneyGin which was a work in progress for some time as we didn't want to enter just another gin into a oversaturated market. The result is a gin that retains the traditional flavours associated with gin, but adds a subtle dash of fynbos honey that enhances the flavours to create a unique gin that is a must-have for the gin enthusiast.
Once we had our products we needed to find them a suitable vessel. That turned out to be quite a challenge. South Africa unfortunately does not have the abundance of different bottles that you'd find in other parts of the world. We searched and searched and eventually found a company that seemed like they'd be able to find us the bottle we needed. We were shown multiple glass bottles but none of them felt quite right. We needed something different, something to differentiate our gin from the pack. We were then taken for a walk through the warehouse and that's where we spotted it, the bottle that would fit our product perfectly. An elegant ceramic bottle. Not only is ceramic the perfect bottle to go with our old-school, environmentally-friendly distilling approach, it is also the ideal material for storing gin, as it ensures a stable temperature and protects the product from light. In keeping with our objective to be environmentally friendly and sustainable, we at DarlingHoney believe that recycling is great, but reusing is even better. Because of this, we work with a number of our stockists to reuse our bottles over and over again. There is also a large number of ways to repurpose our bottles, from soap dispensers to candle holders and of course olive oil.
Lastly and most importantly is the enviroment. We at DarlingHoney try to leave as small as possible a footprint. Thus our distillery is completely off the grid, the water we use comes from the ground, and the energy we use comes from the sun. We don't stop there, however. The water that we use for the cooling gets reused multiple times, the mash left over from the mead is used as compost, and the bottles that we use to distribute our alcohol are reusable for multiple purposes, as mentioned in a previous section. As for the bees, our beekeeping endeavour is not run like a business. We let nature take its course. If the bees are not strong enough, we give them the year off to recover, where most professional beekeepers would interfere and replace the queen or merge two weaker colonies so that they can produce honey. We like to think that the bees rent the hives that we supply them with by paying us in honey. In return, we make sure that they are comfortable all year round by supplying them with water, safety and shelter.