Positive Spirits: Showcasing Sustainable Distilling in London!

1. Hi Karen, thanks for joining! Can you tell a bit more about yourself, your career path, and what your current position is?

Hello thanks for inviting me to your blog.  I am an Events Producer for Legacy Events, a sustainable events agency with B-Corp status and I am motivated  towards hosting events that create positive social and environmental change.

I have spent my career helping others and earlier in my career I was focused on helping disadvantaged youth in London.  I supported them to rebuild their lives and find work or education.  In 2015 I started my own events company Absolute Alchemy and was passionate about putting on events that created change.  This was when I met Abena Fairweather and Carole Quinn from Legacy Events and during the pandemic they asked me to join their team and help build their sustainable events agency and produce a range of events for clients.

With a passion for the planet I was honoured when they asked me to lead their flagship event Positive Spirits – a new pioneering show bringing the best sustainable spirits in the world.

2. You work for Legacy Events. What can you tell us about that organization?

Legacy is an award winning, sustainable events agency and consultancy. As an agency, we  help companies run events that are better for the environment and which contribute towards positive social change.

Legacy believes that events have the power to provoke original thinking, shape communities and transform people’s lives. Unfortunately, all too often, events are wasteful and have a negative impact on the environment, detracting from their potential to inspire and uplift.

At Legacy, we want the impact of their clients’ events to be…just positive. We work with clients to advise on and deliver engaging, delightful, inspiring, beautiful events that are also sustainable.  We can also give you access to our bespoke marketplace of sustainable events products and resources, democratising event planning and creating the conditions for innovation.

Check out their website – https://legacy-events.com/

3. Together with Legacy Events you organize Positive Spirits. Can you tell us more about what it is, what you aim to achieve?

Working with many clients to make their events more sustainable, has given us a unique insight into the people that push for sustainability within their businesses. Often they care about the issue of sustainability deeply outside of work too and want to make a difference in their personal actions and the brands they choose to support. What we’re seeing more and more is a willingness for people to educate themselves on how to make sustainable choices as buyers and consumers. Of course, this isn’t just Legacy; according to a survey in February, 58% of Europeans consider the climate impact important when buying food and beverage items.

As independent spirits and non-alcoholic spirits are moving towards sustainability to meet consumer demand, there is a need for visibility, transparency, collaboration and ideas sharing. This is where Positive Spirits comes in. We want to celebrate the work of spirit makers, showcase their products and innovations to drinks enthusiasts and empower consumers to make more sustainable choices – all whilst having fun with it.  We want to be the tonic to your gin.

4. When and where will Positive Spirits be?

We are excited to be hosting the event at  White Rabbit Studios in the heart of Shoreditch on Saturday 17 June from 11AM – 6PM.  We have hospitality and trade attending in the morning and the general public will be coming in the afternoon to meet the brands and try out their wonderful drinks. We’re really excited to welcome everyone on site for a day of discovery, product tastings, inspiring speakers, music, activities and food.

For all the information you can visit our website – https://www.positivespirits.events/ 

5. Is the goal to make this a recurring event for craft distillers?

We have big plans for this show’s legacy and future potential. Taking it to Europe and building upon our  strong community of innovators in the drinks and hospitality industry, would be the dream.

6. How do you see iStill or iStill customers participate or contribute?

Come to Positive Spirits and be inspired by the ongoing sustainability innovations and practices in the drinks industry and how your work, or future work, could contribute. There’s no better space right now for growing your network and getting ahead of the game. Cheers to change!


iStill’s CEO Odin will give a presentation on how technological innovations – over the last decade – have made distilling a more sustainable place. Where? At the Positive Spirits event in London, as mentioned above. When? June 17. See you there!

If you come and would like to meet up for drinks, please email me at Odin@iStillmail.com, so we can get something going We have 5 VIP tickets available for free!


Copper Waffle for 6-liter, Gen-1 iStill Mini!

We have news for those that use the first generation, 6 liter iStill Mini. We designed a copper waffle, to help battle sulphuric contaminations. If you want to order, please reach out to Finance@iStillmail.com. They cost EUR 50,- a piece. That’s with transport (mail) included.

For comparison: iStill 500 catalyst and iStill Mini 6L catalyst …


Vintersol Distillery Wins First Medal!

Congrats Vintersol Team! You should be proud of your first medal. Well deserved and more!

More? Yeah, Odin selected your amazing spirit as his go-to aquavit. He picks it over Linie Akvavit, without hesitation, each and every time, and strongly believes Vintersol’s Aquavit No.1 should have been awarded double gold.

For all those consumers interested in aquavit, and for all those distillers interested in learning how to make a great Scandinavian spirit … buy a few bottles, taste, appreciate the craftmenship, and enjoy!


Genever or Jenever: it pays to go Dutch!

Genever or jenever is a unique Dutch product that can only be made in The Netherlands, Belgium and two small
regions of France and Germany with traditionally Dutch speaking populations. It is a juniper-flavoured drink, where there must be a certain percentage of so-called “malted wine”. This is basically a new make spirit from grains that is not distilled above 50%, so the grainy flavour is kept. Juniper and other botanicals are distilled with GNS and the distillate is mixed with the malted wine.

A young genever (meaning the new style) must contain between 1.5 and 5% malted wine, an old genever (the old
style) needs to contain above 15% malted wine. A special category is the “koornwijn” (corn wine) that contains at
least 51% malted wine, but doesn’t need to have juniper berries in the mix.

Genever is getting back into vogue after a long absence. During the end of the 19th century millions of bottles of
genever where exported to the United States. The first written cocktail recipes actually call for genever as a base
ingredient, instead of gin. During the 1920’s prohibition made an end to the export and sales collapsed.

Smugglers made sure the Americans had plenty of Scotch whisky and English gin in their Speakeasies. The
recipes for cocktails were rewritten with gin instead of genever. In current times mixologists are experimenting
with the originals recipes again, using a genever as a base. You can now even find non-Dutch genevers with
names like “Geneva” or “Dutch style gin”. Also the German drink Wacholder is basically a genever, but from the
Bavarian regions.

Genever is a very old drink. It got mentioned in the 12th century already, well ahead of other spirits. There is a strong connection between genever and health. Originally, it was sold as a medicine against the black death. From the 16th century onwards, its recipe was tailored to help Dutch sailors survive the gruesome voyages to the East or West, that could take up to 9 months. How genever helped? Well, juniper is a diuretic, coriander protects the stomach lining, and St.-John’s Worth is an anti-depressant. All help was needed to survive the rotten food and loneliness at sea, apparently.

The Dutch that sailed the world also spread genever. In Africa it was the used as money. Henry Stanley, trying to discover lost tribes throughout the darkest parts of Africa, hated it, because wherever he came, he was invited to drink some … establishing that the tribe or village he visited had had prior contact with what was then called “civilization”.

In the horn of Africa, weddings are still blessed with genever. And if there isn’t any, well, then the marriage starts off on the wrong food and probably won’t last long. Now that’s another reason to drink more genever: it is a marriage saver!