Photographer Mert Alas debuts perfume-inspired ginBy Kate Malczewski
London-based fashion photographer Mert Alas has launched a gin influenced by perfume-making techniques.
As one half of the photography duo Mert + Marcus, Alas is known for his celebrity portraits and high-end fashion campaigns.
Through his new gin, Seventy One, he aims to bring an appreciation of aesthetics to spirits. “For me, Seventy One gin is about reconstructing the idea of what gin means today,” he said.
“I am obsessed with masterful creations that hold a sense of the strange and beautiful. Seventy One gin is not a spontaneous beauty, it is a carefully meticulous beauty.”
Made in Rotterdam, the expression has been created in collaboration with master distiller Steve Wilson, the former president of Diageo Reserve.
To craft the liquid, botanicals including juniper, angelica, lemon, damask rose, grapefruit and cinchona are individually distilled using techniques such as cold infusion, slow infusion, vacuum and copper pot distillation, depending on the desired flavour profile.
Each component is blended together, a process the brand compares to being ‘assembled like a perfume’.
The gin is then matured for 71 days in three types of oak – virgin casks from Spain, PX Sherry barrels and French oak. Finally, a distillate of the night-flowering cactus Selenicereus grandiflorus is added to the blend.
On the nose, the gin is said to deliver layers of ‘fresh ripe green notes to warm, earthy aromatics, and a distinctive sweetness’, with the addition of the night-flowering cactus lending ‘a potent vanillin bouquet’. It is caffeinated due to the addition of guayasa tea leaves, and its time in oak gives the liquid an amber colour.
It is packaged in a geometric cut-glass bottle designed by Alas himself, with a label that draws on ‘the codes of haute perfumery’.
Seventy One is available to purchase from www.seventyonegin.com, with an RRP of £140 (US$194) per 700ml bottle.