28 October, 2021, 10:13

Suncliffe Gin: Powered by native plants & a love for local communities

"We hope not only to draw on the spirit of Arizona but give back to the community"

There’s a new gin hitting the shelves of local bars and retailers.

Suncliffe Gin recently debuted its botanical spirits alongside an online store, which features artisanal merch in support of DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project.

Suncliffe Gin

Photo courtesy of Suncliffe Gin

How it all started

Suncliffe Gin is a woman and LGBTQ-owned operated business — beginning in New York but then making its way back to Arizona — and like mentioned earlier, the group prides itself on supporting local communities. The creators of the gin have a tie to the local communities, being that two of them live in Tucson while the other grew up in Flagstaff.

“The past year gave me the opportunity to fall back in love with the natural landscape I grew up in,” said Ryan Lawrence, partner of Suncliffe Gin. “We spent our days hiking in Sedona and began foraging native plants to make our own gin.”

Suncliffe Gin

Photo courtesy of Suncliffe Gin

The new spirit, which can be found at multiple restaurants and retailers, is based and operated out of Tucson and made in custom CARL copper stills developed in Germany. The blends highlight local plant species, combining a trio of native Arizona juniper with a mixture of wild-foraged botanicals, which include ponderosa pine bark, manzanita, and western elderflower. Plus, the process is vapor-infused in custom copper stills and non-chill filtered.

“We were inspired by the hues of Arizona in designing a product and bottle that highlights the region and offers a new perspective on gin branding,” said partner, Clare Byrne.

Supporting local communities

At the moment, 100-percent of proceeds generated by sales of specific items sold online will be donated to DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project. The funds will be used to provide water access to families who need it most in the Navajo Nation.

“DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project is a community-managed utility alternative that brings hot and cold running water to homes without access to water or sewer lines. In 2018, the Navajo Water Project won the US Water Prize for the off-grid Home Water Systems they have installed in over 300 homes across remote parts of New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. In July 2020, DigDeep launched the Appalachia Water Project, addressing the water crisis there beginning with McDowell County, West Virginia.”

Unique & local ways to give back

Suncliffe has collaborated with Arizona artisans to create unique pieces like leather coasters hand-crafted in Tucson by visual artist Sophie McElligott.

There’s also the Suncliffe & Tonic Kit that highlights John’s Premium Tonic made with Cinchona bark in Phoenix, incense sticks made from native plant species in Skull Valley, and botanical soap by Artemesia.

Suncliffe Gin

Photo courtesy of Suncliffe Gin

All of these items are available to buy online.

“In launching Suncliffe, we hope not only to draw on the spirit of Arizona but give back to the community and we are excited to be partnering with the Navajo Water Project for our launch,” said Tom Giddings, partner of Suncliffe Gin.

Suncliffe Gin

Photo courtesy of Suncliffe Gin

Where to find suncliffe in Tucson

If you’re interested in taking trying Suncliffe Gin, they’re currently available at Hotel Congress (in the new Tucson Mule cocktail), Contigo Latin Kitchen, Hacienda del Sol, North Italia, Penca, Plaza Liquors, Roy’s Corner Liquor, Rumrunner, Side Car, Tavolino, Tito & Pep, and Westbound.

For and more information, visit suncliffegin.com or follow Suncliffe Gin on Instagram. For more information on  DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project, visit navajowaterproject.org.

At a very young age, Matt was gifted with the artistic ability to masterfully roll a burrito to the highest of standards.

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