When Hanna Kaur started working at Liviko, she was welcomed by the carefully preserved knowledge and skills of legendary liqueur masters, which enriched her senses and provided inspiration for becoming a beverage architect. Hanna’s commitment to finding new flavour nuances and creating innovative products has proven to be a success at home and abroad. Her excitement about the aromas and flavours of the plant kingdom has been bottled into Crafter’s gins. Hanna’s eco-friendly mindset and ingenuity led to the creation of a completely new beverage category: the juniper berries and ginger root processed during distillation are reused for making the non-alcoholic effervescent craft drinks called Re-crafted Crafter’s.
Liviko’s master distiller Hanna Kaur creates new drinks, but she also solves engineering issues about how to produce these drinks on a large scale. Crafter’s craft gin is an important part of Hanna’s beverage architect portfolio, for which she drew inspiration from her childhood summers and home kitchen.
“The idea to use rosehip flowers in Crafter’s Aromatic Flower gin stemmed from home cooking experiments, because I had been using rosehip for years for making syrups and extracts. I knew that rosehip would give a beautiful yellow hue to the gin: the product development team and I had decided that we would make a coloured gin, to stand out in the market. Another important flavour component was meadowsweet: I remembered how fragrant it was on hot summer days at my grandmother’s house in the countryside,” Hanna says.
Liviko is Hanna’s first employer. She has spent a large part of the past 15 years in the laboratory, but in recent years, she has been spending increasingly more time in forests and meadows, searching for new flavours and aromas in Estonian nature. For Hanna, her work and hobby are related. As an outdoorsy person, she finds inspiration from her home in the coastal village of Viimsi and from walks in the woods. She thinks about her next experiments while cycling along the seashore to her workplace in the centre of Tallinn. It is no coincidence that in Crafter’s Aromatic Flower gin Liviko uses the rosehip flowers that are ubiquitous on the Estonian coast and meadowsweet picked from the Estonian countryside.
Nature and the environment are important for Hanna. It was at her behest that Liviko established an innovative production solution, where juniper berries processed for the distillation of Crafter’s gin are reused to make another drink. Completely new drinks have been created using the zero waste principle: Re-crafted Crafter’s Junibeer (a soft drink) and juniper beer (3.2% alcohol content).
From spring to autumn, Hanna is busy with mapping plants along with distilling fresh and dried plants, flowers, stems and leaves. With dedication and creativity, she is constantly searching for new flavours and aromas to use in product development. Hanna adds, “In my work, I use the notes, lab records and knowledge of Liviko’s old masters, which my predecessors have recorded in detail for more than a hundred years. I am very grateful to them for being able to draw on these ideas of the legendary masters of our historic factory.”
Being passionate about cooking and mixing drinks, Hanna chose to study chemistry and environmental engineering at an early age, and then came to work at Liviko. She continued her MSc studies in food technology, and now teaches masterclasses at the Liviko Academy of Beverages.