More than Words

Old Pilot's - Zagrebian Craft Gin Distillery

Are you always looking for new and exciting drinks? If so, get your taste buds ready! We're introducing you to a small Zagrebian craft gin distillery, with a story about flying, friendship, and devotion.

What do pilots, flying, and Zagreb have in common? Well, the answer is not the famous airport, but the inspiring friendship between Tomislav Anadolac and Hrvoje Bušić. These two pilot friends turned their hobbies into something truly unique. Fasten your seat belts, because we're taking off on a fantastic journey about Zagrebian crafted gin Old Pilot's

From an Idea to Reality 

Passion for flying, combined with a passion for the finest spirits, inspired two pilots to establish the Zagrebian micro-distillery "Duh u boci" (eng. "The Spirit in the Bottle"). Their great desire to create something unique and domestic led Tomislav and Hrvoje to create a world-famous gin called Old Pilot's. 

Image credit: Old Pilot's

Ivan and Hrvoje first enrolled in a school for distillers in Croatia and a distillation program in the Netherlands, the motherland of gin. As it usually goes, the beginning wasn't easy, but their enthusiasm and devotion translated their ideas into reality. They started producing exclusive gin made from the highest quality Croatian ingredients, with a special focus on the production process. Everything is done by hand in their small batch distillery - from distillation and aging, to bottling and sealing. 

Image credit: Old Pilot's

Mediterranean Treasure in a Bottle

Old Pilot's Gin is made from all-natural, hand-picked ingredients from Croatian soil. This exquisite London Dry Gin is distilled with selected Croatian botanicals such as Juniper, Orange, Lavender, Sage, Angelica, and Olive Leaves. I also cannot leave out the main ingredient without which there is no gin – pine! A fruit you cannot grow and can only be harvested in nature. The one in Old Pilot's gin is from Otočac. 

Image credit: Old Pilot's

Angelica, a root plant with an intense smell, comes from the continental region. It is also called the plant of the Holy Spirit, since it was thought to cure the plague. Oranges are from Neretva valley. Sage is the one that grows at the foot of Velebit. Olive leaves are from Biokovo. Only the ones from Jurin Dvor gave the aromas that Tomislav and Hrvoje were looking for. And lavender comes from the coast, and the Samobor Mountains. 

Image credit: Old Pilot's

Combining the coast and the mainland, Old Pilot's Gin brings together the best from Croatia in a single bottle. Not only that, but each bottle is carefully handcrafted and matured using the world's only recipe for gin made in the skies. Did I mention that their gin is vegan, gluten-free, allergen-free, and non-GMO? What more can you wish for? 

And the Award goes to… 

Tomislav and Hrvoje are proof that hard work pays off! Their Old Pilot's Gin was declared the best in the world at the prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC). Their great worldwide success is even more incredible because this is the first time a Croatian product has overwhelmingly won such an important competition. People all around the world are drinking Old Pilot's Gin and are enjoying its rich flavor. Therefore, it is not surprising that it won many other prestigious international awards

Image credit: Old Pilot's

The Sky is not the Limit

The sky is genuinely not the limit for Tomislav and Hrvoje! They went even further, creating innovative handmade products with gin flavor. For example, the successful collaboration between the Old Pilot's Gin and chocolate workshops Chozen and Sweet Gabi made a perfect combination of irresistible gin flavored chocolate truffles

They also did cool Art Edition collaborations with famous Croatian artists Marina Mesar OKO and Lunar, who designed creative visuals for their world-award-winning gin. Tomislav and Hrvoje are constantly working on exciting new projects, so I can't wait to see more! 

Image credit: Old Pilot's

After reading the story about a perfectly crafted gin, it's hard not to want to have a nice drink, isn't it? I don't know about you, but I really enjoy a relaxing night with a glass of gin in hand. So, even if you're not a fan of gin, maybe this has changed your mind. If you want to learn more about this Zagrebian craft gin distillery, you can follow them on their social media, Facebook and Instagram. Also, if you want to buy their fantastic gin, you can do that through their webshop, which you can visit here. Cheers!

Header image credit: Old Pilot's 

Author: Magdalena Hegedić