Wild Distillery, on the Danish ‘sunshine island’ of Bornholm, has entered a competitive spirit market with a range of curated high-quality gins and vodkas.

There has been a trend for craft spirits, gin in particular, in many parts of the world for some time now – and Denmark is no exception. Here, sommelier and spirit enthusiast Henrik Nerst entered the market in 2019, with his Wild Distillery gin.

Though originally from Copenhagen, Nerst has roots in Bornholm. So, in the early 2000s, he and his wife, a chef, opened a restaurant called Æblehaven on the holiday island, and relocated. It was here that he began to learn more about wine and decided to get serious about it.

“I took a sommelier qualification and, after graduating, I was shortlisted as sommelier of the year in Denmark in 2013,” he says. Despite his success in wine, his curiosity for spirits persisted and, during the off-season when the restaurant was closed, he regularly considered his options.

A window of opportunity to embark on his distillery adventure opened when a new baby arrived and it became too challenging to square family life with a hectic restaurant.

Wild Distillery: Wild Distillery: craft gin with a local spirit

The journey to Wild Distillery started in 2016 when Nerst ordered his distillation equipment from renowned manufacturer Müller in Germany. Two years later, the handmade machine arrived and Nerst began experimenting with his own version of spirits.

“I did a distillation course in Newcastle and spent time learning about the processes in Germany,” he recounts.

Nerst describes Wild spirits as Nordic in style. “That means it is clean and clear with no interfering flavours or added sugars,” he explains. “From day one we have been 100 per cent organic and our focus is on high quality.”

Wild Distillery: Wild Distillery: craft gin with a local spirit

Henrik Nerst.

He likes to play with different flavours but, “it needs to taste of gin with its characteristic smell and taste of juniper berries,” he says. “The added flavour provides just a hint.” These flavours, including sea buckthorn, rhubarb and hemp, are all made using products from local partners on the island.

The Wild Botanicals series, of just 350 bottles a year, takes the hyper-local approach to the next level. “I applied for a license to collect juniper berries from Ravnedalen in the north of Bornholm and we collect 12 kilos annually,” says Nerst.

Though local in its approach, Wild Distillery has a global outlook. With exporting on the cards for the future, gin fans around the world will soon be able to enjoy the flavour of Bornholm.

Wild Distillery: Wild Distillery: craft gin with a local spirit

Web: www.wilddistillery.dk
Instagram: @wilddistillerybornholm
Facebook: wilddistillery

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Receive our monthly newsletter by email

    I accept the Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy