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Copperhead

Founder Yvan Vindevogel, a veteran pharmacist, stumbled upon the idea of creating Copperhead while reading about the supposed medicinal properties of gin*. While this is now an antiquated notion, he was subsequently inspired by this history and the increasing modern appetite for the juniper-based spirit, and decided to approach an old friend, who just so happened to own one of the oldest jenever distilleries in Belgium**. His proposal was simple: make a contemporary medicinal-style gin. The spirits produced would need an independent brand, and once again a fascination with traditional alcohol and its various archaic uses proved pivotal. Supposedly, a secret recipe of ‘a notorious alchemist’, who was attempting to divine ingredients in search of ‘the elixir of life’, was stumbled upon. His name was Mr. Copperhead, and this recipe and legend was assimilated as the backbone of the brand. If you’ve heard the Belgian distillers refer to its products as ‘the alchemist’s gin’, now you know why. The profile of their gin was to be based on a simple, but effective recipe. Only triple-distilled grain spirits and a decidedly minimalist gin distillate of just five botanicals (juniper and orange zest initially, followed by the gentle application of angelica, coriander, and cardamom) make up Copperhead Gin. Despite this relatively simple sounding composition, this edition was a springboard for much of Copperhead’s subsequent success, exemplified by the Gold medal it won at the 2016 Gin Masters awards in the London Dry category. Copperhead Gin was followed by more experimental editions such as Copperhead Black, which featured the addition of black tea and elderberry, based on remedies in Vindevogell’s pharmaceuticals. It subsequently took home a Silver medal in the same category and year as Copperhead Gin when it won Gold. Copperhead Barrel Aged Gin also demonstrated the distiller’s willingness to push its traditional methods into the modern sphere. Since arriving on the market around 2014, Copperhead have established themselves as one of the most exciting producers of gin around, and a leader in Belgium’s fledgling scene. We wrote about the brand in this lovely little blog post, which was centered around the launch Copperhead Gin The Gibson Edition, a collaboration with Marian Beke from Islington-based The Gibson. *They have all subsequently been disproved - don’t get any ideas. **Don’t you just love it when that happens?

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