It is easy for me to relate to this distillery. They are based in Finnish-Karelia, where I went to university, but they also have links to Russian parts of Karelia, where my grandad grew up. The name of the distillery is based on the Finnish national epic, The Kalevala, a significant work of Finnish literature. It combines folklore and mythology, and the events of this epic poetry took place in Karelia, very close to the distillery.
I can’t even begin to explain The Kalevala as it is both mad and magical and consists of many dramas. But I can certainly tell you more about Kalevala Gin!
Moritz, the master distiller, grew up in Germany, but after many visits to his mother’s house in Karelia, he became very interested in the country and the Finnish culture. However, he wasn’t quite ready to settle in Finland just yet and ended up in the UK studying chemical engineering, after which he returned to Finland and built a small distillery in the barn at his childhood home. Finally, in 2014 he was ready to officially open the distillery and start distilling Kalevala Gin.
Together with Tatiyana, Moritz has created a beautiful juniper-forward gin. They like to keep parts of the recipe a secret, but they did reveal some of their wonderful organic ingredients, including mint, sea buckthorn, raspberry leaf, rosemary and rose bud. For someone who didn’t used to like gin (Moritz, I am looking at you…), this is a delicious gin that stays true to tradition. The name definitely matches well with the product, a very epic and complex savoury gin indeed.
They have also released a navy-strength gin, which is distilled at 50.9% ABV. It has all the same botanicals with added Jerusalem artichoke. Kalevala Navy Strength Gin is strong, but sweet (like many Finns?). When asked why it is not 57% ABV like many other navy-strength gins, they stated that in Finland they have better gunpowder!
Kalevala G&T is lovely served with premium tonic water and garnished with grapefruit peel. If you’re feeling adventurous, try using mango peel instead. Mango has high levels of pinene, which can also be found in juniper and rosemary.
Kalevala Peach Collins
50ml Kalevala Gin
25ml Thyme-Peach syrup
15ml Fresh lemon juice
First make the syrup by combining peach slices, two sprigs of thyme, half a cup of sugar and water in a pot. Bring it to boil and stir occasionally. Once the water boils, turn off the hob and remove thyme sprigs. Leaving the peach slices in the syrup, set aside until ready. The syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.
To make the drink, take few peach slices from the pot and place into a cocktail shaker. Muddle together with 25ml of syrup. Add ice, lemon and gin, and shake well. You can adjust the flavour depending how sweet you like it. Fill a glass with ice, strain over the mixture and top up with soda water. Garnish with peach slices and thyme.
We have teamed up with Moritz to give one lucky reader a chance to WIN a bottle of Kalevala Gin. Simply visit On the Sauce Again Instagram page and follow the steps on one of the Kalevala-related photos. Competition closes 8th September 2018! COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Kalevala Distillery, but, as always, all photos and opinions are my own.