Connoisseur’s guide to St Helena’s spirits
St Helena is one of the world’s best kept secrets and the ‘St Helena Distillery’ even more so. It really is the most remote distillery in the world! The distillery uses German-made Holstein spirit distilling equipment imported and installed in 2006 and is run by Head Distiller Paul Hickling. Paul, originally from Wales is married to a St Helenian and trained in Germany. As a proficient qualified distiller he oversees every step of the distilling process.
If you’re a connoisseur of spirits, then browse the finest that St Helena has to offer below.
Tungi Cactus Pear Spirit
Tungi (pronounced Toon Gee) is a clear smooth spirit, refreshing and palatable drink full of flavour whilst retaining robust power and alcoholic strength. It is made from the prickly or cactus pears which Saints call Tungi, plants which were originally brought to the island by the colonial ivory traders from East Africa in the 1850′s. Three varieties of Tungi cactus now grow wild and organically on the dry coastal regions of the island.
The spirit was first developed on St Helena as ‘prickly pear whisky’ from the 1850, but now using the most modern distilling techniques and a blend of two principal varieties of Tungi, Paul has produced the optimum flavours. Ideal for straight shot-drinking, cocktails and combinations like the ‘Jamestown Mule’ and ‘Holdfast Tom’
White Lion Spiced Rum
St Helena White Lion Rum commemorates the island’s celebrated ‘sunken treasure’ shipwreck, when the Dutch vessel ‘Witte Leeuw’, (White Lion) sunk in James Bay in 1613 after a brief but spectacular naval action with the Portuguese. Returning from Java, she was carrying peppercorns, nutmeg, cloves, diamonds and precious Chinese Ming porcelain and was armed with 30 bronze cannons, one of which is in the Museum by the famous Jacobs Ladder cliff staircase.
White Lion Spiced Rum is an authentic homage to the favoured liquor of the Seventeenth Century sailors who first combined pure white rum and the exotic spices of the Orient with which they had become uniquely familiar. Today it is produced in exclusive quantities and blended at the world’s most isolated working distillery situated in Alarm Forest, not very far from Napoleons Tomb.
Midnight Mist Coffee Liqueur
Midnight Mist is an exquisitely smooth flavour-infused liqueur, repeated from previous, often compared to Kahlua. it’s production involves the combining of island-grown coffee, handpicked from the steep-sided slopes of this rocky but fertile British territory, with premium quality locally-produced spirit from the St Helena Distillery.
The blend is then sweetened and balanced for alcoholic content to give a consistent and distinctive taste and aroma. This original liqueur was developed exclusively on St Helena using green-tipped bourbon Arabica coffee grown with seed originally brought from the Yemen in 1733. For Midnight Mist the beans are deeply dark roasted and percolated before being blended with St Helena Rum to give a unique and satisfying coffee liqueur experience.
After the discovery of the rare Bermuda Juniper, which grows very well on St Helena, it was decided to add a Gin to the Distillery portfolio. This Gin is very different to most gins, it is the only Gin in the world made from the infusion of Bermuda Juniper, making it a very smooth, subtle Gin with a strength of 43%.