World Gin Day 2021
The story of Gin
A Dutch scientist originally formulated juniper berry oil as a medicine and it was added to distilled spirit along with botanicals in order to make it more palatable. It was so palatable in fact, that cases of reported illnesses soared as the masses tried to acquire this ‘genever’ that was only available in pharmacies. The demand was so high that numerous small distilleries emerged and the commercial, non-medicinal version was born. English troops fighting alongside the Dutch in the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) noticed that the Dutch soldiers were extremely courageous in battle. This bravery became attributed to the calming effects of the genever that they sipped from small bottles hanging from their belts. English soldiers returning home from the war spread the news of this genever and the Dutch began to import it all over the world in their vast fleet of trade ships. William of Orange (pictured) came to the throne and brought in the freedom to distil and sell spirits, providing they were produced from home-grown English corn. Spirit prices dropped and heavier taxes on beer further increased the demand for gin, resulting in unregulated production using poor quality grain.
Gin today is produced in different ways from a wide range of herbal ingredients, giving rise to a number of distinct styles and brands. After juniper, gin tends to be flavoured with botanical/herbal, spice, floral or fruit flavours or often a combination. It is most commonly consumed mixed with tonic water. Gin is also often used as a base spirit to produce flavoured gin-based liqueurs such as, for example, sloe gin, traditionally by the addition of fruit, flavourings and sugar.
Recent packaging trends
The gin market has seen an incredible revival recently, with the number of distilleries increasing by 127% in the last five years to meet this new wave of demand. Despite the challenges posed by the 2020 global pandemic, the gin market dominated over all other spirit sales online during the lockdown, with experts predicting 2021 will even see gin sales surpassing that of 2019 numbers. Peak gin, it would seem, is not going away anytime soon. With such a dramatic shift in the market’s audience, and new consumers still discovering and embracing the reinvention of the beverage, packaging design for gin brands has had to be reimagined in response to the shift. The result is evident in the wide range of dynamic and diverse bottle designs appearing on the market.
The traditional gin bottle design was a square, book-shaped bottle, but that is not the norm today. When it comes to packaging design, gin has some textbook examples, often with a strong focus on color: blue with Bombay Sapphire (Bacardi), which recently launched a limited edition with artist Hebru Brantley in connection with the Black Lives Matter movement; green from Tanqueray for a simulated shaker, which came in a lemon press punt effect for the No. Ten version; black apothecary bottle for Hendrick’s, part of William Grant & Sons. Lesley Gracie, master distiller at Hendrick’s confessed his surprise when he first saw the bottle in 1999: “This stocky black bottle was the exact opposite of what was being made at the time. In the end, it’s just what we needed for our gin, curiously infused with rose and cucumber. Giving up conventional thinking, zig when others zag—that was our plan.”
Gins that feature an extra infusion of fruit or flowers are indeed in fashion. This gives them a milder and more playful flavor, which is said to make them more accessible, especially to the female target. Ready- made sparkling gins are also coming to the fore, in bottles or cans: the spirit can be mixed with Spanish sparkling wines at Kaava or with sparkling waters with fruit flavors in 58 Gin, a London-based brand that is riding the wave of hard seltzers to attract younger consumers. That being said, given its tonic spirit, gin does not appear to be fading away any time soon.
Melifera's new age bottle
When the Melifera owner decided to put forth the effort of making the packaging of the bottle, which is the main asset of the product, the main objective was to make the bottle seem archaic – robust and lightly green colored, with the delicate Immortelle crown below the shoulders.
On the outside, with its shape, the bottle of Melifera looks ascetic with its pure form. But when we look closer, it impresses with details, especially with the intricate embossing, barely perceptible to the touch and seemingly random, even though a lot of effort and technological expertise was put into making the mold itself.
It boasts a sophisticated decoration, more precisely a relief in the form of a woven wreath, which acts as a crown and, in combination with the final print, it gives a special rustic stamp. We used images with illustrations of twigs and flowers to construct the wreath, so it is designed with a high degree of precision and sensitivity to real details. All that had to be aligned with the capabilities of the technological process of making the bottle. This means that the delicate transitions of the wreath structure during mold division were designed to allow the smooth opening of the model during production. Only when we meet all the necessary, demanding criteria do we get an excellent end result. READ MORE ABOUT MELIFERA.
The most difficult part was to make the bottle look aged and to make flowers visible all around the bottle. The latter needed a special solution for the colored embossed flower crown, a visual difference between the small flowers and leaves all around the bottle, positioning each detail and aligning them with digital ink jet application.
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