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The Poire Spritz by Renais Gin

Cocktail of the Week: Renais Gin, owned by Emma Watson and her brother, is rooted in winemaking.

By Samantha Coles

In case you missed it, June 8 was World Gin Day (mark your calendar for next year; it’s always on the second Saturday in June). As you would expect, the day celebrates all things gin with tasting events, distillery tours, and mixologists creating inventive cocktails based on the spirit. 

Gin’s creation can be traced all the way back to the Middle Ages. It was initially used for medicinal purposes — Italian monks used juniper berries to flavor distilled spirits, as juniper was thought to help treat ailments like the plague. 

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It’s moved on a touch since then, though, but many producers still uphold traditional distillation methods. Gin is typically made by creating a base spirit from grain through fermentation and distillation. This spirit is then redistilled with botanicals (including the aforementioned juniper berries), or the botanicals can be added directly to the spirits for maceration. Some gins are aged in wooden barrels for added complexity. 

Renais Gin, however, does things slightly differently. The award-winning gin brand is inspired by winemaking and is a continuation of a family legacy. The Watson family owns a vineyard in the Burgundy region of France, an area which is renowned for producing ‘Burgundies’ — dry red wines made from Pinot Noir grapes and white wines made from Chardonnay grapes.

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Brother-and-sister team, Emma (of Harry Potter fame) and Alex Watson, created Renais Gin by using the grapes used in the winemaking process in the family vineyard. (Renais means ‘rebirth’ in French.) The grape spirit is steeped in Kimmeridgian stone and includes natural botanicals such as Linden flowers and angelica root. 

This week’s cocktail recipe is easy to create and uses Chablis and a single-skewered grape in a nod to the gin’s winemaking heritage. 


– 25ml Renais Gin
– 25ml Poire Williams liqueur 
– 50ml Chablis 
– Double Dutch soda


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Add your grapes to a shaker and crush them with a muddler or a rolling pin. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake as hard as you can! Fine staring into a glass with ice, add a single skewered grape, and enjoy. 

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