The importance of tonic.
The Gin Drinker's Collection.
Bootlegger's Gin Drinker’s Collection is the ultimate experience of NZ's finest tonic waters for the most discerning gin drinker.
Each tonic is carefully crafted to enhance and compliment your favourite spirits.
We encourage you to step outside the norm of traditional tonics and let your chosen spirit be mixed with Bootlegger's tonic water.
One Curious Bartender
James Waugh was tending bar at Wellington's iconic Matterhorn when he picked up a bottle of dry ginger ale and asked himself, “What's even in this?”
Sodium benzoate... acidity regulator… flavours… Where was the ginger and lime? Barely recognising any of the ingredients, James's curiosity and drive was sparked, and he decided to try to make his own ginger ale out of raw and organic ingredients. He became a mad scientist, setting up a clandestine laboratory in his Brooklyn basement as he set out on a mission to develop the best dry ginger ale he could create.
Accessory to the Crime
From his research, he discovered that dry ginger ale was actually formulated during the US Prohibition - brewers made it 'dry' because it mixed better with raw, bootleg alcohol than the sweet ginger ale of the past. It is believed that dry ginger ale was as popular during this time as illegal alcohol, inspiring breweries to switch to making dry ginger ale since they were not allowed to make beer. Advertisements of this era vaguely hinted that dry ginger ale “mixed well with other drinkables”: it was the accessory to the crime.
Continuing to experiment and refine his recipes, James developed his first range of premium mixers - Lime & Soda, Lemonade, and of course his very own Dry Ginger Ale. Like the bootleggers before him, James began to 'smuggle' his creations into local bars and parties, where they were embraced as mixers and as standalone drinks alike. From here, Bootleggers was born.
breaking contracts, raising spirits
The bars and restaurants we work with value high quality ingredients perfectly crafted to accompany premium spirits. Bartenders want ingredients that enable them to get creative and mix and master world-class cocktails and drinks. So why restrict yourself to what everyone else is having? If you love your establishment, set it free.
BOOTLEGGERS, SMUGGLED FOR THE PEOPLE.
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