Juniper, achiote, chinalima juice and an investment of 1.5 million pesos led Roberto Brinkman Cámara to create Katún, the first Yucatecan gin. It’s being exported to England and Australia, two countries that are very particular about their gin.
His passion began in 2009 when he became a partner in the artisanal distiller, Bruxo Mezcal. After eight years learning the different processes of alcohol production, Roberto decided to go his own way and move to Yucatan, where his mother is from, to begin working on a new drink inspired by the flavors of the region.
Every morning, he gets up early to travel from Merida to the neighboring municipality of Conkal, where his distillery is located. When he arrives, the first thing he does is light the still. While it is heating, he rests in his hammock and prepares to start the distillation process.
In a normal day he can produce up to 130 liters of gin that fill 160 bottles. In 2018, Roberto has sold approximately 4,500 bottles.
Brinkman points out that what makes this gin different is the origin of its ingredients.
“I have to use imported juniper because in Mexico there is no juniper, and to be called gin you have to have juniper,” Brinkman explains, “but everything else that I use or the vast majority are Mexican products: chilis, citrus, I use vanilla, achiote, pepper, many things from the region and many things from Yucatan.”
To create the Kantún label, Roberto was inspired by elements of Mayan legends such as the sacred ceiba tree, the tolok (as iguanas are known in Yucatan) and the jaguar, which is closely associated with the Yucatan jungle.
Source: El Financiero