NEW DISTILLERY                                Simon Buttet of Alchemist Distiller in Summerland shows the absynthe, gin and apple liqueur he has created at the new distillery. The distillery will have its grand opening on June 1.                                (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

NEW DISTILLERY Simon Buttet of Alchemist Distiller in Summerland shows the absynthe, gin and apple liqueur he has created at the new distillery. The distillery will have its grand opening on June 1. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

New Summerland distillery has received recognition

Alchemist Distiller won audience choice award at recent competition

A distillery in Summerland will hold its official opening on Saturday, June 1, but Alchemist Distiller is already making a name for itself.

Simon Buttet, originally from France, moved to the Okanagan Valley five years ago and recently set up the craft distillery in Summerland, where he produces apple-based absynthe, gin and apple liqueur.

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“What’s better than using apples when you’re opening in Summerland?” he said, adding that the apple base adds a distinct taste to the spirits he produces. The apple juice he uses comes from Sun-Rype, which uses Okanagan fruit.

Butttet’s background is in chemical engineering and before opening the distillery, he had worked at a pharmaceutical company.

At the time, he was also doing distilling as a hobby.

“I think distilling is similar to alchemy,” he said. “There’s a lot of feeling, a lot of art behind it. It’s between art and science.”

While the distillery has not yet held its official opening, Buttet has entered his absynthe at the B.C. Distilled awards in April, where he won the audience choice award.

“We’re not making a product for the experts; we’re making a product for the people to enjoy,” he said.

The distillery is a member of Bottleneck Drive, an association of wineries, cideries, a brewery and distilleries in Summerland.

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