Get To Know The Woman Behind This Delicious Gin!

We chat to former cop and Kiwi distiller Donna Hemingway about how she got into the business, and how she likes to enjoy gin.

We caught up with Lady H Distilling's founder and distiller Donna Hemingway, to chat about the inspiration behind crafting the perfect martini gin, the playful origins of their sister-brand Duchess H, and the new and exquisite Chocolate and Hazelnut Gin Cup. 

Hi Donna, how did you get into the business of gin?

My goal was simplicity. As a sergeant in the police force, I developed an appreciation for a good martini. I wanted to craft a gin that wasn't too bitter or overly complex – a drink you could enjoy without overthinking it. So, keeping it simple was my motto when creating Lady H gin.

What is the difference between Lady H and Duchess H gins?

After the success of Lady H, I wanted to have some fun. While Lady H embodies elegance and simplicity, Duchess H is its fun-loving little sister. The name reflects this dynamic, offering a lower alcohol content for a brighter, more colourful experience. I wanted to create a drink that's enjoyable from the label to the flavours - a reminder not to overthink things.

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Above: Donna, and her original gin, Lady H. 

Do you have a favourite gin from your collection? 

Lady H, without a doubt. I love its softness and versatility. It's easy to drink and pairs well with various mixers. Lately, I've been enjoying it with East Imperial Grapefruit soda.

Tell us about the new Chocolate and Hazelnut Gin Cup.

The Chocolate and Hazelnut Gin Cup is based on Lady H gin, but with a lower alcohol content. Real chocolate is used, retaining its cocoa fat for an authentic mouthfeel. Hazelnuts are blended in for richness, while sweetness enhances the flavours without overpowering them. Enjoy it on the rocks for the strongest flavour, or with soda or mineral water to maintain the chocolate mouthfeel. Milk adds indulgence, while mixing it with cola creates a chocolate twist on a Black Russian. It's a full flavour experience, even when diluted with a mixer.

What’s your favourite food to pair with a Duchess H gin?

The sweetness of Duchess H gins pairs well with various dishes, much like a Sauvignon Blanc. Think curries, risottos, fish, chicken, and hearty soups in the winter.

Where would we find you when you’re not working?

I'm a bit of a homebody, often spending time with my 80kg Newfoundland, Hugo. In June, I'll be on a road trip across New Zealand to visit Liquorland stores – bringing a piece of home with me on the journey.

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