Juno Gin celebrate pioneering Kiwi women with release of limited-edition gift pack

Taranaki’s Juno Gin have chosen International Women’s Day (8 March) as the perfect opportunity to release a new gin pack that highlights the incredible lives of three lesser-known Kiwi women who helped shape New Zealand.

“Distilling in New Zealand gives us the opportunity to celebrate what makes our country so special,” explains Jo James, who returned home from abroad in 2016 to found Juno Gin with husband Dave. “Whether it’s the unique, locally-sourced botanicals we use or the values and stories we tell as a brand, there’s always an opportunity to connect delicious gin with deeper narratives.”

The women Juno have chosen to hero in their Trailblazers gift pack include Monica Brewster (activist, philanthropist and arts patron), Emily Harris (artist and poet), and Jean Sandel (surgeon and researcher).

“All these women were ahead of their time,” explains Dave James. “Although she gained international recognition for her stunning art, Emily for example lived in an era where women didn’t receive the accolades of their male counterparts and so she struggled to make a living from her craft.”

Juno labelled the pack Trailblazers to truly reference the vivacious personalities of all three women. “They were go-getters and actively critiqued and shaped the world around them,” says Jo.

The collective passions of the three women—love of the arts, flora, learning and community development—align perfectly with Juno’s values as a business. “By raising these women up as role models, we aim to remind ourselves, as well as other Kiwis, that we too can be part of the solution and leave a positive mark on the world around us,” implores Jo.

The Juno Trailblazers gift pack includes four unique gins with three recipes chosen to reflect each of the women as well as Juno’s signature Extra Fine Gin. The four 200ml bottles are displayed in a stunning black presentation box that reveals the unique label design on each bottle.

The gift pack is available for purchase from 8 March 2020 in stores and online at www.junogin.co.nz.


MONICA: Monica Brewster (1886 – 1973)

Ahead of her time, this worldly  and well-travelled woman is remembered for her advocacy of women’s rights, the environment, pacifism and passion for the arts. Monica helped found several organisations but her greatest legacy is the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery named in her honour, making New Plymouth the spiritual home for modern art in New Zealand.

This triple-distilled gin reflects Monica’s independent and adventurous spirit. It is a full flavoured citrus gin, sparkling with notes of kaffir lime.

EMILY: Emily Cumming Harris (1837 – 1925)
One of our country’s first prominent female artists, Emily exhibited her paintings of New Zealand plants and flowers all over the world. She was also a talented writer and poet. Her writings provide a revealing glimpse of life in the 1800s, particularly during the wars of the 1860s. Her diaries describe an era where the primary role for women was a supporting one, while also exploring the artistic challenge of selling creative work in which so much of one’s self has been invested.

Emily’s love of all things botanical has been captured in this indulgent lemon honey gin that sings with lime blossom, lemon verbena and chamomile.

JEAN: Jean Sandel (1916 – 1974)

A doctor surgeon and pioneer for cardiovascular surgery and Māori health, Jean was an important voice for encouraging women to further their academic studies. At barely 5-feet, she stood tall in the community leading the surgical department at Taranaki Base Hospital. Although known to be on-call at all times, she would occasionally slip away to watch cricket at Pukekura Park where the commentator was under clear instructions to hang a white towel on the scoreboard as a signal if she was urgently needed back at work.

Jean’s gin is a nod to enjoying a relaxing moment on the green in the summer sun. Honeyed notes of red clover flower rounded off with lush orange. The recipe is close to Juno’s award- winning Summer 2019 gin.


This is Juno Gin’s award-winning signature gin. It boasts well-balanced initial tastes of refreshing juniper with lingering citrus and peppery notes, all built on a generous base of local and exotic botanicals. The intricate label artwork depicts the ascension of nature’s finest produce to touch the divine through artistry in the copper still. Looking carefully you’ll see New Zealand native flora and fauna as well as the Roman goddess of marriage and domestic harmony, from which Juno derives its name.

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