It all started with three Belgians…
Maral tells the story of three friends with an irresistible attraction for nature and a passion for great products: Nicolas Haegelsteen, Arnaud de Merode and Julien Bricart. Their sloe gin’s character was shaped by the countless evenings they spent by the fire with a drink in hand.
These entrepreneurs couldn't find the perfect sloe gin, so they decided to make it. Distilled with passion at Biércée, Maral is a 100% artisanal sloe gin enhanced with a blend of citrus, aromatic herbs and the long maceration of hand-picked wild sloe berries. The Covid-19 pandemic threw the creators off course, but ultimately played a crucial role in creating Maral’s intense and distinctive flavor.
The three partners had initially planned to let the wild sloe macerate for six months in order for the berries to release all their flavor and blend harmoniously with the gin. But the Covid-19 pandemic altered that plan, making it impossible for them to bottle the gin in April. When they tasted their post-lockdown gin, they found that its flavor was more concentrated than expected. This prompted them to prolong the maceration for a month before sampling it again, then another month, then another. It was a whole year - a rest period three to four times longer than usual – before they filtered the berries, achieving an exceptional result in the richness and intensity of flavor!
Nicolas Haegelsteen, our spirits aficionado, created Maral’s recipe. He has always been fascinated by maceration and developed this sloe gin by dint of patience and endless tests in all kinds of jars.
Arnaud de Merode, who also launched the Belgian morel brand BelMorille, has allowed us to benefit from his marketing and sales skills.
Julien Bricart works in event management and is responsible for broadcasting Maral abroad. The English, to whom we originally owe this sloe liqueur, had better look sharp!