New Zealand’s Cardrona Distillery brings its spirits range to the UK


Cardrona Distillery

Family-run New Zealand producer Cardrona Distillery is launching its super-premium range of hand-crafted spirits in the UK.

Located in the Cardrona Valley in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, the distillery boasts a four-strong portfolio, comprising The Reid Single Malt Vodka; The Cardrona Single Malt Whisky ‘Just Hatched’; The Source Gin; and Rose Rabbit Liqueur, which is available in two flavours: orange and elderflower.

Founded in 2015 by husband and wife team Desiree and Ash Whitaker, Cardrona combines a single malt base spirit, made from malted barley, yeast and pure Alpine water, sourced from the heart of Mount Cardona, with fresh seasonal ingredients.

The Reid vodka (44% ABV) is created exclusively from malted barley, resulting in a “decadently rich spirit layered with character”, with notes of “pear drops, toffee and biscuits” on the nose.

Inspired by the four seasons that blow through the Cardrona Valley, The Source Gin (47% ABV) combines locally-foraged rosehip, traditional juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, lemon zest and orange zest, which are vapour-distilled into Cardrona’s Single Malt Spirit. The distillery refuses to chill-filter to deliver a “full flavour and character”.

Cardrona’s small-batch Rose Rabbit Liqueurs, available in orange and elderflower flavours, and are suggested enjoyed neat, mixed in classic cocktails or with fizz. The orange expression is created by macerating New Zealand orange peel in rich Cardrona unaged Single Malt Spirit, while the elderflower liqueur marries wild Central Otago Elderflower with the Single Malt Spirit and lemon.

The Cardrona Single Malt Whisky ‘Just Hatched’ is a natural cask strength bottling, marking it reaching three years old. The 64.4% ABV whisky is made from a blend of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, and offers an “underlying character of borage flower honey, vanilla, spice, with weighted spirit on the tongue”.

According to the team, the range of spirits can be paired with a variety of fish, game and farm produce, and also “add an incredible twist” to classic cocktails.

Desiree, who heads up the distillery team at Cardrona Distillery, said: “Launching our super-premium range of spirits in the UK is a huge honour for us. Much of what I know about spirits I learnt in the UK, and Cardrona’s style owes a lot to the patience and methodology of British producers.

“However, I think Cardrona’s Kiwi uniqueness has a lot to offer the market and we’ve really focused on rekindling the distilling traditions of New Zealand while embracing the time and place in which our spirits are made.”

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