New gin about town
Taupō gets its first commercial distillery
Picture this: it’s a hot, summery day, you’re relaxing by beautiful Lake Taupō with loved ones around, and you’ve got a delicious gin and tonic in hand. What could be better?
Well, that gin could be the new locally distilled 5 Mile Gin, fresh from Taupō’s first ever commercial distillery. Named after popular swimming spot, 5 Mile Bay, this new gin is making waves among locals and gin fans.
Taupō Distilling Co’s small-batch gin is made with a flavourful selection of botanicals, including juniper, coriander seeds, cassia bark, lime peel, green peppercorns, and even walnuts. After careful distillation to bring out the flavour of these botanicals, the gin is blended with pure Tongariro water from Mt Ruapehu. The gin represents the first spirit to be released by the new distillery, with more rumoured to be on the way.
5 Mile Gin’s recipe itself was a labour of love on the part of the founder Scott Forsythe, who spent months over the Covid-19 lockdowns perfecting it. Feeling inspired by his many afternoons by the lake drinking gin and tonics with friends and family, he set out to create a balanced, flavourful spirit. The first step was purchasing a 50L still and distilling many batches at home, before finally settling on recipe version 19. The new distillery was licenced in April 2022, and not long after, 5 Mile Gin was awarded Best Overall London Dry Gin at the 2022 NZ Spirits Awards.
Those in the know might recognise Forsythe as the co-owner of specialty café Baked With Love, along with his wife Kim. While there isn’t (yet) a tasting room, Taupō Distilling Co sell their gin online via their website, and directly to restaurants, bars, and bottle stores.