The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union may be the only organization that has not saluted New Artisan Spirit Inc. for the design and execution of its Roxor gin bottle. The Houston brand owner has captured design excellence awards from the Institute of Packaging Professionals, American Graphic Design, National Association of Container Distributors and others for its skyscraper-shaped glass bottle.
“[New Artisan’s] Don Short had a vision of the bottle’s look, and our design and engineering group in Chicago took his vision and made it a reality,” says Suzanne Fenton, marketing director at TricorBraun. The packaging firm’s Mexico City office commissioned Pavisa, an artisan glass maker, to create the mold for the high-grade flint glass. Because the bottle is square instead of round, “the parting line had to be in a corner, which was the biggest challenge,” according to Fenton. The balance of frit in the glass sublimates yellow and red hues to render a clear, natural color. “It’s a beautiful, heavyweight glass,” she adds.
A former Coca-Cola marketer, Short founded New Artisan with Robert Del Grande, a Houston chef and restaurateur. A biochemist by training, Del Grande developed the recipe of botanicals such as grapefruit, lime, juniper and pecans that infuse the gin. Small-batch distilling is done at San Luis Spirits in Dripping Spring, TX.
Fewer than 60 boutique distilleries existed in the US a decade ago. Today, there are more than 200. Gaining retail space is perhaps micro distilling’s biggest challenge. Besides upscale restaurants such as Del Grande’s RDG Bar Annie, Roxor is sold through Spec’s liquor stores in Texas.