Co-owners Rod Butters and Audrey Surrao of RauDZ sample a cocktail made with their new gin The Whole Truth, which is made from local ingredients, during the gin’s official launch Thursday. - Carli Berry/Capital News

Gin made from Okanagan ingredients to be offered at Kelowna restaurants

The Whole Truth, a gin made from the spirits of 20,000 Okanagan apples is at RauDZ Regional Table

A Kelowna restaurant hailed for its locally-sourced ingredients is taking the term farm to table a step further.

The Whole Truth, a gin created by RauDZ Regional Table (RauDZ Creative Concepts) and Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery was created from Okanagan ingredients.

Audrey Surrao, co-owner of RauDZ, was excited to see its launch Thursday after years of preparation.

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She said eating local and drinking local, has always been the mantra since opening the restaurant’s in 2009 and “it’s always been something we thought would be great, to have a cocktail … to have something that was locally produced using ingredients from our kitchens.”

Working with Okanagan Spirits, the companies designed a gin using a base spirit created from 20,000 Okanagan apples. It’s not available on shelves, only in four Okanagan restaurants.

READ MORE: Raudz shakes up competition for the win in Kelowna

All the other ingredients, including the botanicals, were also locally sourced, Surrao said.

You can’t purchase the gin as a bottle, but you can sample it at Terrafina, at Hester Creek in Oliver, RauDZ, Sunny’s and Micro Bar & Bites each carrying its own unique cocktail.

READ MORE: RauDZ teams up with Terrafina in Oliver

“It takes a long time to do one of these things. Anything you create from scratch that’s never been done before, we’ve been very fortunate partnering with Okanagan Spirits. That partnership with them really allowed us to explore areas on how local can we get with this,” Surrao said.

READ MORE: RaudDZ Regional Table isn’t keeping secrets with new gin

It involved a lot of experimentation when creating the gin from scratch, she said.

“There’s a whole bunch of things that had to fall into place and we’re very excited, Rod and I, about this opportunity. It’s sort of like another piece of what we do,” she said. Chef Rod Butters is the other owner of RauDZ.

The Truth cocktail has been on their menu for 10 years, but it was made using non-locally sourced gin. So this gin, aptly named The Whole Truth, was specifically created to enhance the flavour of the cocktail, she said.

Surrao said when they first started 18 years ago with Fresco, locally sourced ingredients weren’t as common, but over time it’s become more popular.

READ MORE: Kelowna restaurant looks for alternative to styrofoam

“We went out and sourced as much as we could, but there wasn’t very much then,” she said.

“There’s so much choice now, there are so many people joining the organic movement and the emphasis on organic is so good for all of us.”

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carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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