The Circle - Gin & OEL
When, after 500 years of gin history, someone comes up with the idea of using plant-based lipids to boost its aromas, that’s either innovation or madness. And there’s a fine line between the two. OEL’s 3 Gin combines 168 years of family-owned distillery tradition and 3 years of start-up agriculture. That is, it brings together gin and olive oil, or Kalamata and Berlin, and together they walk that fine line with ease. Equal parts flavor and history.
The result is based on the delightful principle of off-label use. After all, Francois de la Boe never imagined that his experiments with juniper berries and alcohol would lead, not to a digestive medicine, but to millions of people stumbling home on a regular basis. Similarly, the pure olive oil of the Berlin-based company OEL was never meant to become a percentage, buried beneath ice and only savored well after dusk. And yet here we are. You can ask yourself why, or you can give it a try and enjoy the unique taste. We recommend, for entirely unselfish reasons, the latter option.
And no ice!
The Dash – The Infusion
The combination of olive oil and gin guarantees not just confusion, but also the double-edged knowledge that a novelty has been created. Never before has the world tasted a spirit flavored with plant-based lipids. This profitable exchange of aromas was the impulse that first prompted us to action and that has now taken over completely. In those moments that a liquor comes into contact with a plant-based oil, the two substances flavor each other, without merging.
If that liquor is gin, as in our case, then its botanicals (the processed plant extracts) are brought out by the OEL’s plant-based lipids, and clearly defined in the flavor profile. By washing the gin with OEL, both are combined for a short time, allowed to rest, and then separated by filter at low temperatures. All that remains is a flavored gin and a high-percentage OEL.
What may sound like a schnapps-inspired nomination for the next Nobel Prize for Chemistry is in fact a versatile principle, which is nowadays used to master the challenge of different densities and to allow the exchange of aromas.
It’s a principle that we’ve put to good use.
The 3 – The Process
„Venturing outside the small safe circle of our peculiar idea and onto completely unknown territory, our key task was to determine for exactly how long gin and OEL needed to mingle in order to achieve the desired intensity.
When we discovered that this process takes three days, we could not resist the wordplay possibilities of the German word for ‘three’ [dʁaɪ̯] in the context of gin. The idea of creating a dry gin called OEL’s 3 Gin gave us that drop of courage necessary to invest everything in alcohol. Since we believe in providence, an unimaginable sense of being on a God-given mission has marched triumphantly through our consciousness ever since.
The aromatization is achieved by a regular schedule of moving and resting the mingled liquids at constantly low temperatures. Only when the optimal taste has been attained do we bottle the result in our colored earthenware pitchers.
The result is characterized by rich notes of ripe lemons, light nuances of ground rosemary and coriander, and a gentle bitter note of mastic, all rounded out by and embedded in the sweetness of juniper berries and OEL.
The Beard - The Core Product
May we introduce: George Callicounis, the founder of the family-run Callicounis Distillery in Kalamata, Messenia, Greece.
His 'crazy idea' laid the foundation for what is now the country’s oldest and most traditional distillery. For as long as we can remember, all kinds of market-leading spirits have been produced in his distillery. In addition to his passion for high-proof liquids, George Callicounis dedicated himself to daily intensive beard care. With considerable success in the style of that time. Placing his beard at the heart of our design is our way of acknowledging, paying homage to, and recalling his rare values and his rare courage.
Callicounis Old Sport Gin is the distillery’s newest and most exciting product. While a never-ending gin hysteria is sweeping across Europe, Greece is sticking to its tried-and-tested anise. To change that requires courage. And George Callicounis’ courage has culminated in Old Sport Gin, the first gin from Greece.
Old Sport Gin brings together juniper berries, angelica leaves, rosemary, cardamom seeds, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, violet roots, licorice root, lemon peel, bitter orange peel, coriander seeds, and mastic. Mastic is a gum resin from the bark of the mastic-pistachio tree, which is only cultivated on the island of Chios. It is thus the most unique ingredient in Old Sport Gin. With the first spirit produced from this resin, demand shot through the roof, but all attempts to cultivate the tree outside of the island have failed. Since then, there have been no limits to the legends, myths, and superstitions concerning mastic and its magical powers. It quickly became known as the Tears of Chios.
OEL is one of the two main ingredients in OEL’s 3 Gin. The OEL brand stands for 100% pure, organic, and self-produced extra-virgin Koroneiki olive oil. OEL is self-produced in two ways. First, our Koroneiki olives grow and thrive exclusively on organically certified trees on our own land in Meligalas, Kalamata, and Messenia in Greece. Second, within hours of carefully harvesting our olives by hand, we use a cold press to extract, then bottle their OEL.
The naturally cloudy grass-green OEL from the little green Koroneiki olives captivates with an unmistakably rich flavor, which is optimal for aromatization. It’s no coincidence that OEL’s 3 Gin looks like it belongs in the OEL range. OEL is a substantial ingredient in OEL’s 3 Gin. But beyond that, one of the brand’s three energetic leaders is also involved in OEL’s 3 Gin, serving as the interface between the two companies.
The Gin Lane - The Woodcut
The story of William Hogarth and Francois de la Boe proves that alcohol can connect people. The former was a gifted English artist who was highly critical of society. The latter was a Dutch doctor in search of the perfect medicine to cure his patients’ digestive woes. What connects the two? The history and development of gin!
While de la Boe's patients completely forgot their abdominal pain in the scramble for his new drink based on juniper berries and alcohol, Hogarth first learned of the new magic potion called jenever only when the whole of the Netherlands was already drowning in it. Hundreds of distilleries were busy, commissioned exclusively with the production of the tasty miracle drug. And thousands of Dutch soldiers stationed in London were happy to share that their field supplies were supplemented by this magic bullet, meaning that they could fight exceptionally well. The explosion was inevitable when the English masterfully shortened the name of the drink to give it more oomph. Jenever from Holland became gin in England, with millions of bottles produced and consumed.
And it was a shared success, making de la Boe’s fortune, while providing Hogarth with enough socio-critical inspiration to last him to the end of his days. He just had to look out of the window.
We incorporated Hogarth’s woodcuts into our design and communications as a way to close the circle of gin hysteria after more than 500 years. Thrilled to fill one of the last gaps in this product’s diversity, we look back at the past with eternal fascination while looking to the future with great optimism. After all, in the end, every gin happens for a reason.