Osman Ozdemir is the owner of Library of Spirits on the Oude Binnenweg. It looks like a ….well… library, with bottles from the floor to the ceiling. Inspired by his own childhood, he has now developed a gin. Juniper Bird Gin has a Coastal-Mediterranean flavour.
One could say that the conception of this gin began decades ago when Osman grew up in the coastal village of Selinus in Turkey, where he himself observed Juniper birds feeding on the Juniper Tree. Since he was 8 years old, as his first business, Osman would forage oregano and wild pistachio to sell in the market. Thus, these two uncommon botanicals are also present in the Juniper Bird, creating not only a noteworthy and unique nutty-tasting gin but also illustrating his childhood experiences and the flavours from his birth home in each and every single bottle.
The Flavour of Juniper Bird Gin
Juniper berries are the absolute essential ingredients in Gin and Genever. It is common knowledge that these fine spirits would not exist if not for the Juniper Trees’ fragrant bounty. However, there is one unsung hero in this story – The Juniper Bird. Both the bird and the tree rely on each other to survive – by feeding off this tree, the Juniper bird digestion allows the Juniper berries and the precious seeds to germinate and make new trees.
Thus, this Mediterranean gin is the celebration of the harmonious, natural bond between the Juniper Bird and the Juniper Tree.
The gin Juniper Bird is a herbal and nutty-tasting Coastal-Mediterranean style gin with sweet oregano herbs and rich wild pistachio. The unique composition of these botanicals brings out an unmatched smoothness and complexity of flavour.
Other gins from Rotterdam
Of course, Juniper Bird Gin is not the first gin from Rotterdam. Several awarded liquors already represent the city. Juniper Bird Gin is distilled at Onder De Boompjes in Schiedam. The distillery is also involved with the Slagers Gin by Slagerij van Linschoten, The well-known butcher in Kralingen developed a gin with the special addition of steak herbs, a nice mix of dried vegetables such as garlic, oregano, coriander and dried pepper in combination with the best sea salt. This way this soft premium gin has a light pepper in the aftertaste.
Bobby’s Dry Gin is based on the recipe of Indonesian grandfather Jacobus Alfons, better known as Bobby. That old recipe was restored in 2014 by his proud grandsons from Rotterdam: Sebastiaan van Bokkel and David Blom. The founders already brought the awarded gin to more than 50 countries and have recently introduced canned drinks. Of course, there is the original Bobby’s Gin & Tonic. Those who fancy a funky twist on the classic go for Bobby’s Gin & Pink Lemonade. This special is developed together with Pinkyrose, appreciated local syrup makers, who brought grapefruit into the mix.
Deep in the south, a small craft distillery can be found. De Onruststokers emerged from the collaboration of De groen Fee and Moonshine Rotterdam. The distillery produces various special distillates in small batches in our Rotterdam distillery. For example, they make Sopropo Gin which is made with sopropo. This vegetable is typical consumed in Suriname. In addition, the gin also uses juniper berries, Madame Jeanette pepper, cardamom, fennel, jasmine, lavender, orange and a number of herbs. The result is a smooth floral and soft gin.
Another small craft distillery is located at the rural Overschiese Kleiweg in Rotterdam, Netherlands, surrounded by trees and greenery, near the De Speelman grain mill. This micro-distillery produces whisky and gin under the Cley label. Cley refers to the old street name ‘Cley wech’ or Clay Road (first mentioned in 1611). Cley Whisky and Cley Gin are traditionally distilled and produced with natural, locally sourced ingredients. The distillation is done in three runs (triple distillation), in a copper alembic.