Malfy Gin Is Amalfi Coast Sunshine In A Bottle
By: Casha Doemland
In the Southwest region of Italy sits the Amalfi Coast, an area known for its Mediterranean landscapes and cliffside abodes overlooking the turquoise Tyrrhenian Sea. They're also famous for their limoncello liqueur due to the sheer amount of lemon trees.
That, and gin.
“Gin was first invented in Italy in the year 1050, long before the Dutch or British laid claim to it,” starts Elwyn Gladstone, brand director and founder of Biggar & Leith, distributors of Malfy Gin."Monks along the Amalfi Coast created a blend of wine spirit and locally foraged Juniper (in Italian, Juniper is Ginepro, which is maybe the derivations of the word Gin). The monks, of course, were making this 'proto-gin' for medicinal purposes, just as some people use gin for today, but this was the first mention of gin in the world."
Malfy Gin came to fruition in 1992 by the hands of the Carlo Verganao and family via small batches at Torino Distillati, which uses a traditional stainless steel vacuum still to ensure the citrus peel does not cook.
"We wanted to revive the great tradition of Gin in Italy, and teamed up with the Verganao Family and their two master distillers, Beppe Ronco and Denis Muni," says Gladstone. "They distill Juniper, Amalfi coast lemons—the famous lemon peels used in the making of Limoncello—as well as other botanicals such as Sicilian pink grapefruit and many others."
Once the partnership was settled, it was time to collaborate with a team of designers to deliver the feel of sunshine in a bottle.
“Our goal was to bring all the perfect Malfy Gin moments to life – sitting on a terrace, looking over the ocean, sharing a gin with great friends, plucking a lemon from the tree overhead, slicing it and plunging it into our gin and tonic," states Gladstone.
“We started with a general ‘Malfy’ mood board and began exploring various patterns and logo approaches,” begins Choi, creative director and designer. “We quickly realized we wanted to own the iconic round shape of the bottle’s label. We also explored different styles of gift boxes, but the simple flute box was the way to go for production.”
The logo features a crest that pays homage to the regatta, "often held in Amalfi between Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa and Venice," chimes in Gladstone. "We used this as inspiration for our logo, and there are four symbols: a fish with a lemon, a classic boat used in the regatta, an oarlock and a crown, which represent the race and the four republics."
The glass bottles are silk-screened, excluding the original bottles which are blue like the lakes of Italy. All of the bottles are topped with corks that are made from Italian oak, with a bright blue stopper to ensure the freshest gin.
"So we designed a very high-quality product that consumers would like to keep and reuse for other things like vases, candles, decanters and so on once the gin was gone,” adds Gladstone.
All of which was made possible thanks to his dream team of designers and creatives. "Everything was very straightforward," he adds. "We worked with great people, we have a lovely brand, and things come very naturally when you have those two magical pieces.”
“Our mantra was that good packaging is never thrown away.”
LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.