The Spirits Workshop
Monday11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Tuesday11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Wednesday11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Thursday11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Friday11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Saturday11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
11 Sandyford Street, Sydenham, Christchurch
021 336 416
Head to The Spirits Workshop in Sydenham for a uniquely New Zealand spirit experience. Here you can sample gins and whiskies that reflect Aotearoa, meet the people that make them and see the whole process, too.
This local business all got started in 2015 when four friends in Canterbury decided to split the cost of a still. The idea? Put the still in someone’s garage and make the “World’s Best” Single Malt Whisky from Canterbury’s “World’s Best” barley and water! Curiosity, however, got the best of them and just a year later they launched their own gin brand called you guessed it, Curiosity. The Spirits Workshop is now home to Curiosity Gin and Divergence Single Malt NZ Whisky.
That first still affectionately called ‘Yoyo’, helped the crew at The Spirits Workshop create Curiosity Gin - Recipe #23. The team perfected the stuff through trial and error and through lots of late night tastings. It took 23 tries to get it just right and the final result is made with Canterbury grain and eleven botanicals including Otago lavender, Manuka and fresh citrus.
You can sample Recipe #23 at the cellar door here as well as Curiosity’s other gin varieties. In keeping with their commitment to NZ inspired flavours, the Curious Dry is made with kawakawa, horopito, tarata, and manuka. It’s bright and herbaceous, a Kiwi take on the London Dry style. The Pinot Barrel Sloe, meanwhile, is made batch by batch in Otago Pinot Noir barrels. Whether you’re a long time gin lover, or just getting acquainted with the stuff, The Spirits Workshop team will show you the ropes.
On the other side of the cellar door shelves, you'll find Divergence Single Malt Whisky - the product that got this whole thing started. Divergence is also uniquely New Zealand, made from 100% Canterbury grown and malted barley. It’s mashed, fermented, distilled and aged for 3+ years in Virgin French Oak barrels right here at the workshop. This drop’s toffee, chocolate notes and florally undertones are joined by a Pinot Noir Barrel Aged and Sloe Gin Barrel Finished expression, too. Whiskey lover or not, it’s easy to see that these spirits have that industry ‘polish’ but are rooted in nature, our place, and a commitment to creating something truly special.
The Spirits Workshop Distillery Tour is an excellent way to spend an hour or two whether you’re just in town for the weekend or have lived here your whole life. You’ll learn about the whisky and gin making processes from the distillers themselves, get to see the stills, soak up the barrel room scent, and experience a guided tasting. Take away your favourite drop from the cellar door at the end and your tour is free!
If you simply can’t get enough, head along to Riverside Market. Here you’ll find the Curiosity cocktail bar where you can spend the afternoon sipping handcrafted, one of a kind G&Ts and other delightful classic and bespoke cocktails.
Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Nancy Zhou
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11 Sandyford Street, Sydenham, Christchurch
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