Rough Hands is releasing New Zealand’s first Applejack

What is Applejack?

Applejack is a traditional American style apple brandy. Fruit spirits, especially apple and peach based brandies, were common throughout the early days.

Tree ripened apples are fermented cool and the resulting brandy is stored in charred oak barrels for at least three years, so it tastes a lot more like a bourbon than a traditional brandy.

I want some! Where can I buy some of this New Zealand Craft Spirit?

We now have a site and webstore just for ELSEWHEN.

New Zealand Cider Festival 2019

We are very excited to have been invited to bring two ciders to the New Zealand Cider Festival in Nelson on Saturday 16 November 2019.

We’ve attended all of the past NZ Cider Festivals so to be participating this year is thrilling. We had been playing around with a few recipes and it was just a matter of choosing two that made sense for this event.

Read more about our herbal cider project and the two offerings, DAY and NIGHT.

And be sure to get your tickets to the New Zealand Cider Festival.

Herbal Ciders

Herbal Ciders for New Zealand Cider Festival


As apple brandy makers, we are mad keen about apple based cocktails, so we began exploring the ways to make spritzy fun cocktails with apple as the base. If a spritz is traditionally an herbal liqueur (amaro) with prosecco and a bit of soda water, can we substitute cider for the bubbles? Or even better, can you make a cider that seems like bubbles with liqueur? Can you make distinctly local ciders inspired by both light bright Venetian spritzes and the darker complex amari spritzes?

The New Zealand Cider Festival gave us an excuse to keg up two of the delicious results. These herbal ciders, made by infusing premium cider with our own bespoke all natural herbal blends, will take you on an adventure you just might not expect from cider!

DAY (Herbal Cider)

Bright – Citrus – Fun

Exceptional apple cider made from local tree-ripened fruit, infused with our proprietary bright herbal blend packed with 9 traditional herbs, including lots of fresh zest, hibiscus and rhubarb. Sparkles with a sunny afternoon vibe.


NIGHT (Herbal Cider)

Dark – Rich – Complex

Premium cider from tree-ripened Moutere apples, oak aged with our own dark herbal blend full of 15 exotic herbs and spices including chocolate, artichoke leaf and warm spices. Evokes a mysterious speakeasy feel.


Photos of beerNgin Brewday

Brewing at Golden Bear was a great experience for us. It is always enriching to have a play, or mostly watch others play on a new kit. We have another post with a description of the day.

Introducing Rough Hands Brewing

We’re launching our first project: Rough Hands Brewing

Rough Hands Brewing
Drinking great beer is fun and for us making great beer is even more fun. At Rough Hands Brewing, we love the hard graft of making interesting, complex beers that we just can’t buy anywhere else. We have no interest in finding the simplest recipe, using the easiest yeast, running a push-button-beer-factory. We prefer to pile layer on layer of malt, to wring subtle depths from multiple hoppings, to tame ill-behaved yeasts by spirit barrel aging. So let us do the hard work and you can marvel at the result.

We’ll be revealing our first beer very soon, so check back…