Views from the Still – Pernod Ricard increases its stake in Brazil

In October of this year, Pernod Ricard quietly acquired a stake in Brazilian Gin Distiller ‘Amazzoni’. This amounted to a ‘double-digit’ stake in the Brazilian company, according to representatives of Pernod Ricard. For those not familiar with Pernod Ricard, they one of the three largest drinks producers globally, and owner of Beefeater Gin, Absolut Vodka, Chivas Regal and other well know drinks.

Amazzoni Gin

Amazzoni Gin launched around two years ago. Since then they have achieved great things in Rio de Janeiro state, across Brazil as a whole and internationally, winning awards in 2018 and 2019 in The World Gin Awards.

From a small start, Amazzoni has grown to a scale where they produced 100,000 bottles of their Gin in an 18 month period. They have also started exporting to both Italy and Portugal. With Pernod Ricard acquiring a stake, the plan is to increase exports and open new overseas markets. Amazzoni held a UK launch party some months ago in London, and is readily available in both Portugal and Italy, and may soon be on a store shelf near you.

It is currently showing as available on some online stores in the UK, at a fairly hefty £42 for a 750ml bottle. Here it retails for around R$100 per bottle or about £18 at the current exchange rate. 

But what is Amazzoni gin like….

The Gin itself is good. They distil at the 300-year-old Cachoeira Farm (Waterfall Farm) in the majestic old Coffee plantation farmhouse, in the countryside outside Rio, using a copper still with reflux column from a company called Santa Efigenia.  Santa Efigenia has been making copper stills in Brazil for over 70 years. They distil from cereal alcohol, like most others, but the ingredients are very interesting. They use eleven botanicals, some of which are familiar to us, and others that come from the Amazon region itself. The process used is an initial cold infusion, steeping the botanicals in alcohol for a period of time before being distilled.

Recently, they launched Amazzoni Rio Negro, a new Gin that they describe as ‘Super Premium London Dry Gin’. This is a cold infusion Gin, same as the original, with some botanicals included in the still itself. It’s also bottled at a higher alcohol content. This was very highly rated when it launched, winning a double Gold medal in the San Francisco Spirit Awards 2019.

The stills ready to be delivered to Amazzoni

The stills ready to be delivered to Amazzoni

I was fortunate enough to visit the team at Santa Efigenia to discuss my copper still when five new copper stills were being finished for a customer based outside of Rio. Later, I learnt they were destined for Amazzoni, so clearly they are planning considerable expansion. Each still was around 300 litres with a combined capacity of 1,500 litres. This means they could produce 1,400 bottles per day quite comfortably if they wanted to.

One last interesting thing about Amazzoni is that they use hand-made glass bottles for their Gin, which really stand out. As an interesting quirk to those in the trade, they have the word ‘Artisanal’ (handmade) on the bottle. Under Brazilian regulations, they’re not allowed to use this to describe a distilled drink, but they can use it because the glass bottle itself is handmade. Quite clever marketing, I thought. 

If you get the chance to try it!

If you want to find out more about Amazzoni gin, check out their website here, or you can get social with them on Facebook and Instagram.

You can also check out the lovely copper stills made by Santa Efigenia here.

Born in Britain, Alex Rudd’s love for gin started early and hasn’t left him now that he lives in Brazil.

From the gin scene in Brazil to the trials of becoming a distiller and opening his own distillery, Alex will be sharing his views from the still here on theGin.Blog!



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