Sean Juniper’s gin journey may have started on a whim, but after years of hard graft, trial, error and iterations he is now fully immersed in the world of professional gin production.
“The first batch was horrible,” recalls Sean, who started distilling gin liqueur in his Rangiora garage back in 2016. But over time, he perfected the art, built a micro-distillery and set to work on battling the red tape involved in starting up an alcohol production business.
2021 saw Sean’s first professional run bottled, packaged and sold and he has since expanded his range to include two gin varieties – the dry ‘Juniper Jinn’ and the full-bodied ‘Overproof Jinn’ – as well as three gin liqueurs and a surprising cardamon-infused distilled stout. As you may have gathered, he’s come a very, very long way from that disastrous first batch.
Like his spiced stout and his gin liqueurs, Sean likes to do things a little differently, the most obvious of which is to choose the spelling ‘Jinn’ over the traditional ‘gin’. “This is a double tongue-in-cheek spelling,” explains Sean. “I wanted to make a Gin Liqueur and call it Juniper Gin Liqueur, then I realized that if I changed the spelling to ‘Jinn’, I would have JJL, my wife’s initials. It’s also a play on the spelling ‘Djinn’, or genie (in the bottle, a little bit of magic!).”
And a little bit of magic is exactly what Sean aims to serve up to his loyal customers who love the exciting flavour combinations and super smooth quality of his gin liqueur range. Whilst he’s currently focused on online sales and farmers markets, Sean is looking to expand into local off-licenses to reach new customers. Keep your eye out for this local brand on the rise…
Why North Canterbury? It’s where Rangiora is.
Name your top three North Canterbury brands: Fresca Mediterranean; Grown, for the best local produce; and all the fantastic honey producers.