It all started with a brainstorm in 2017 in a small office unit at the Bloempothoeve.
The idea of making gin from natural, fresh produce came about in the wake of the TV show The Good Life. The scents and aromas of the vegetable gardens from the program, had something magical, yet there was no way to capture it. Except for photographs and footage, the sensory experience was barely preserved. With minimal knowledge about distilling, tinctures,… the idea of capturing the total aroma of a vegetable garden in alcohol grew. At that time, gin was on the rise and also very suitable as a database for flavors and fragrances. Since it was important to create a “summer” atmosphere, it was decided to focus on edible flowers, herbs and fruits.
After the first recipe was on point, it was a matter of finding a professional distiller to develop an acceptable capacity. Thus was born the first bottling of our Garden gin in 2018. Paul De Lil became “fine tuner” on duty.
The main activity at the Flower Lodge is growing fresh ingredients for spiritual beverages. In summer, a huge array of edible flowers, fruits and herbs bloom. Everything is freshly harvested and immediately macerated so no flavors are lost.
The success encouraged us to continue down the same path and experiment further with clusters of fresh produce that could reflect a particular mood or aroma. Thus was born the Secret Garden Gin, based on violets and mulberry. The Sea Garden Gin is distilled from sea vegetables harvested primarily on the nearby Westerschelde and the aroma of the Mountain Garden Gin leads you straight to the Alps.
Liquors are a different story: the Bloempothoeve has some orchards, but too few to be profitable. However, the 3 acres of pear trees do suffice to make a delicious pear liqueur (Fox). The unanticipated and unprecedented success of the Fox has meant that our own crop is no longer sufficient and we must purchase pears from fellow fruit growers. The same goes for apples, from which Cox is made.
Our rum comes from the Caribbean and we enriched it ourselves with rhubarb and blueberries.
The company has since grown: we produce 17000 bottles a year, storage capabilities have been expanded, the packaging line is being modernized,…
Home selling is one of our strengths. Combined with garden events, it makes our product very accessible to the consumer.
During 2022, there will be a new tasting room and experience space that will further ecstasy our customers….
Bart Verelst (°10/09/1976) studied modern agricultural history at UGent and is a passionate garden enthusiast. Both professionally and in his spare time, nature is never far away.
In addition to working on the garden farm, he is a green journalist, author of gardening books, contributor to TV programs and founder of the Garden Gin Company.
The Garden Gin Company is part of the “Bloempothoeve”, the beating heart of all operations.
The “From field to bottle” principle is growing steadily but surely… Production reached 17,000 bottles in 2021 and the end is not yet in sight.