JuiJui- be lucky and make nine

JuiJui label and logo

Background to Golden Bay Distillery

Honored by Silver medals at the prestigious Hong Kong Cathay Pacific Spirits awards in 2017, 2016, and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017 and London’s International Wine and Spirit awards 2017, Golden Bay Distillery is making a big splash as the newest entrant into the global boutique distillery industry. Golden Bay Distillery focuses on small batch, artisan, all -natural products that are produced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

Golden Bay Distillery’s first product is JiuJiu Blue label vodka, which is specifically designed to appeal to aspirational, affluent global consumers who appreciate the beauty of Asian traditions and design. JiuJiu vodka is all -natural and is made from local Spring Water, the clearest and arguably best-tasting spring water in the world.

2017 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition     San Francisco World Spirits Competition SILVER 2017  Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition SILVER 2016


Golden Bay Distillery’s Mission Statement

Golden Bay Distillery has only mission and that is to produce the best award winning, all natural, preservative -free, authentic handcrafted spirits, which are sustainably sourced and packaged.


Why launch first with vodka?

We decided to launch with vodka because the simplicity of the recipe necessitates excellence in the ingredients and the distiller. People also say a Distillery that produces great vodka will go on to produce other great spirits. This is similar to great sushi chefs who show case their egg roll sushi made only with egg and milk to evidence their excellent culinary skills.


How did you come up with the name JiuJiu?

The Chinese name JiuJiu is a reference to “be lucky and make nine” from Pai gow/Pai jiu, an ancient Chinese game now known as Baccarat. Nine is the best one can achieve; we made JiuJiu vodka for people who want to be the best they can be at whatever they choose to be. Secondly the Chinese pronunciation of the name JiuJiu is also a homophone for a “long lasting and healthy, prosperous life”. We want people who drink JiuJiu to have lucky long lasting, prosperous, health lives. Finally in the West to have good juju is to have good luck and so we choose a name that has luck and prosperity at its core in both the East and the West.


Can you tell us about your bottle design?



Today a custom bottle is a minimum requirement if you want to compete on the global spirits stage. We wanted to design a bottle that people can display proudly in their home, share with their influential friends and also, when given as a gift, for the gift recipient to feel truly fortunate. Fourthly we wanted to ensure that the bottle would stand the test of time and so in 50years time the bottle would look as good then as it does today. These aesthetic requirements are very important but the most important thing is that the bottle is functional and easy to use. Accordingly we spent a lot of time talking to bartenders and testing out different shaped bottles. We also wanted a bottle that has a slightly triangular shape as that is the strongest and simplest shape you can make with two lines. The resulting bottle is statuesque with a wider base that angles upward making it easy to hold no matter the size of your hands.


Can you please tell us about the butterfly and the fern shapes on the bottle?

JuiJui label

The butterfly on the bottle represents the Monarch butterfly. The Monarch butterfly is found in many places around the world and has been documented for flying over 4800 kms. We choose to include the Monarch butterfly on our bottle as we wanted JiuJiu to be an adventurous global traveller found all over the world. 

The ferns are on the bottle for two reasons. Firstly the fern is the unofficial flag of New Zealand and associated with many of New Zealand’s world champion sports teams and secondly in days gone by when the Maori’s would go out hunting they would turn over the leaves of the fern to show their silver undersides which would then reflect in the moon and show them the way back home. We want JiuJiu to be something to bring you back home .


Can you tell us about the gold leaf shapes in the bottle?

One of the unique elements in JiuJiu is the edible 22.5- carat gold leaf cut into tiny 8s and 9s. These numbers inspire luck, as does the name itself. In Chinese culture 9 is a homophone for “to have enough” and 8 is “to make money” when you have 8 and 9s together it means to be lucky. We want people who drink JiuJiu to be lucky in love and life.


What are your bar rituals and points of differentiation?

James Bond was wrong – martini’s should be stirred not shaken. Problem is it doesn’t sound as good so the Director reversed it for the movies. A lot of Research has been done on this. Shaking rather than stirring a Martini has three principal effects. One is shaking releases less healthy antioxidants, two the rapid movement of ice in the shaker melts more of the ice than gentle stirring, thereby diluting the drink which for a fine vodka is not a good thing. Three: the drink is likely to be cloudy rather than crystal clear which for Martini drinkers are all undesirable. Some also argue that shaking a spirit can even bruise the product.

Our bar ritual is to make our JiuJiu martini’s by rolling the shaker rather than shaking it. This creates a similar effect as stirring but is far more engaging and gives the bartenders an opportunity to engage their customers and establish a dialogue. We also have two other rituals . Firstly every bottle of JiuJiu comes with Baccarat cards. The cards are delivered with every bottle and give bartenders an opportunity to engage with their customers. Secondly we recommend 3 olives in our martini’s as there is an old bar superstition that an even number of olives is bad luck. The use of 3 olives also ties in nicely again with our brands overall theme of luck as do the Baccarat cards.

By Terry Knight on

Leave a Comment