The name, Washhouse Distillery is a nod to where it all began – a backyard laundry – and the home of Waitoki’s very own gin.
It started out when three neighbours, living in a quiet rural cul-de-sac decided to join forces and make vodka in their laundry. Over several months, several failures and many batches later they began to combine science and art, and detail everything they were doing – all the while improving the quality of vodka produced using a simple reflux still. And this continues today – the neighbours, meeting up in the laundry, distilling vodka.
But it wasn’t enough to quell the curiosity of one, and Steve went on to attend distilling courses and explore different botanicals and processes. In early 2019 he purchased a beautiful handmade alquitar copper still, to which all our gin recipes are developed in today.
His ultimate goal was really just to make a good tasting gin. One that he enjoyed making and we enjoyed drinking – and without any pretence.
Along the way, the family joined the journey and every part of The Washhouse Distillery in Waitoki is handled by us.
Washhouse Distillery has been a real labour of love. Steve, Kathy and the three kids are all founders of the Washhouse, but it’s our extended family of friends, suppliers, drinkers and of course – the neighbours, that has made it what it is.
Our home is in the beautiful Waitoki village of New Zealand and we’re lucky to be surrounded by Paradise ducks, the odd wild deer, a few hundred year old trees and some bloody good neighbours.