A family-owned gin from Tuscany, Sabatini was a labour of love co-founded by four members of the Sabatini family, Ugo Sabatini, his two sons Niccolò and Enrico and his cousin Filippo. Devoted to bringing the best of ‘Made in Italy’ to the world, the Sabatini family has been devoted to creating a drink that paints a picture of the very best of Tuscany; the natural beauty of the Tuscan hillside, the fragrant aromas and pristine views all compiled into one bottle.
Recently, Sabatini was awarded a silver medal in the World Gin Awards 2023 in the London Dry Gin category. The character and philosophy of the gin, as described by the owners, is a London Dry Gin with a Tuscan soul. The gin employs classic London Dry Gin distilling techniques with aromatic Tuscan botanicals and herbs into a bottle resembling the Tuscan landscape.
Bringing Sabatini to India, Anggel’s Share, one of the country’s leading importers of wines and spirits, took the team behind Sabatini Gin on a 3-city tour of India across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. “We at Anggel’s Share are thrilled to associate with SabatiniGin. Our shared commitment to offering gin lovers high-quality handcrafted spirits has made this partnership a natural fit. We’re excited to enhance everyone’s gin experience with SabatiniGin, and we believe that our collaboration will not only bring a new flavour experience to gin aficionados but also showcase the importance of artisanal craftsmanship in the world of spirits. We look forward to continuing a long and fruitful partnership with SabatiniGin and can’t wait to introduce gin lovers to the Italian crafts spirits scene” said Vaishali Shah, Partner at Anggel’s Share.
In an insightful conversation with LuxeBook, co-founder Enrico Sabatini spilled the beans on Sabatini’s inception, the Italian gin industry and his favourite way to enjoy the Sabatini Gin!
Can you tell me about the inception of Sabatini Gin?
The two branches of the Sabatini family currently include four members, Ugo my father, Niccolò my younger brother, Filippo, my father’s cousin and myself. We share a passion for the aperitif ritual which has stayed within our family since the beginning of the last century. This passion is married to the desire to do something that involves the whole family. And so despite the different working domains — marketing, finance and legal, which have led us to work together frequently and successfully, we have always harboured a special bond with our land. Especially with Cortona and Teccognano, the Tuscan place that gave the company its name. My family gathers in the estates in Tuscany during summer and it was precisely on a summer day in 2014, when while sipping on a G&T, we began to hypothesize a gin made with a recipe that could articulate Tuscany, its authenticity and its aroma.
The greater commodity-related knowledge soon led the four of us to realize that our homeland presented infinite possibilities. The Tuscan juniper is among the most precious and sought-after ingredients used for distillation. Aside from juniper, we also have a variety of aromatic herbs such as sage, thyme, lavender, iris and olive trees. The idea was to create a recipe which would add all of these flavours to the gin, flavours that brought back countless childhood memories. Like the lavender used by grandmothers to keep the sheets fresh, the thyme flavour in a roast chicken, the wild fennel used to flavour the potatoes on Sundays and lemon verbena which was used on the skin in summer to keep mosquitoes away. So the final blend includes flavours of coriander, sage, lemon verbena, olive leaves, thyme, Florentine iris, wild fennel, juniper and lavender. We are now one of the leading family-owned gins in Italy exporting to about 24 countries around the world.
The brand has a very interesting slogan – A London dry gin with a Tuscan spirit. Can you tell us about this philosophy?
Sabatini’s brand philosophy is about bringing together the best of both worlds – the traditional style London dry gin and the fresh, vibrant flavours of Tuscany. The brand is all about combining the two cultures in a unique and harmonious way, creating a truly unique gin experience. This is reflected in the brand’s slogan – A London dry gin with a Tuscan spirit. Sabtini is a celebration of Italian culture which still respects and honours the traditions of London dry gin.
What is the relationship between Sabatini Gin and its territory of origin?
Eight of nine botanicals are grown by my father in our family estate, Villa Ugo’s garden. Juniper is the only ingredient that is sourced about 30 km away from our house. This is because juniper can be grown only above 1000-1100 meters and my house is only about 700m making it hard for us to grow juniper in the garden.
Since day 1 we were absolutely sure about the kind of gin we wanted to make, something that not only represents our Tuscan heritage but something that comes directly from our land. So we invited our Master Distiller, Charles Maxwell to visit our properties and we began to select a variety of botanicals., running tests with different blends until we found the perfect balance which is represented in the current version of the Sabatini Gin.
What makes Sabatini Gin stand out?
As mentioned before, the flavour is inspired by our Tuscan heritage, the combination of all 9 botanicals creates a smooth, flavourful gin that is perfect for a variety of cocktails, ranging from classic martinis to modern creations. The gin is light and refreshing and really easy to drink. Additionally, the gin is distilled following the London Dry Style which helps to guarantee a perfect balance of all the botanical flavours. Sabatini Gin is a gin easy to understand in its complexity and easy to drink. And this is what differentiates it from other gins.
How is the gin industry faring in Italy?
Italy has a century-old tradition of distilling with products like Grappa, but gin was not among these products as it happens in the Netherlands and the UK. However, thanks to the gin boom in recent years, we’ve seen many small distilleries open up that specialize in producing gin.
When we started in 2014, there weren’t more than 30-40 gin labels in Italy. Some were small producers, others from well-known distilleries where Grappa was one of the main products. Today, there are over 500 brands!
The growth of the consumption of gin and other spirits, in general, goes hand in hand with the development of the mixology scene; the continued development that the bartenders bring to the bar. Gin is easy to use, it is versatile and is at the base of well-known cocktails like a G&T, martini and negroni.
What are some of the best ways to drink Sabatini Gin? And what is your favourite way to drink it?
A nice G&T that isn’t too sweet, garnished with one of the fresh botanicals, sage or thyme is the perfect serve. I personally love a negroni but a Sabatini – Martini perfectly done with a couple of drops of our own made olive oil is the perfect cocktail for me!