People, May 08, 2023

Brad Pitt Launches His New Gin ‘The Gardener’ (Exclusive)
The actor’s two-year project, The Gardener Gin, will debut at the Cannes Film Festival

By Peter Mikelbank Published on May 8, 2023 01:57 PM

Brad Pitt will premiere a new spirit at the Cannes Film Festival.

Having already established himself in the premium wine and champagne industry, the actor will launch The Gardener Gin at the annual film festival, PEOPLE can reveal exclusively. Cannes is the perfect venue as Pitt’s latest venture, billed as “the French Riviera Gin,” is a premium, dry London-style gin inspired by the south of France.

The Gardener has been quietly teased on social media for two months as “handcrafted by Brad, Tom and Perrin.” (The Perrin family are Pitt’s original partners in his Miraval wines and Tom Nichol is a master distiller.) It will hit U.S. shops in a limited edition in September.

For its formal presentation in Cannes, which kicks off on May 16, Nichol and bartenders at the iconic Carlton Cannes Hotel have concocted a “Secret Garden” cocktail made with gin, lemon juice, orange juice, strawberry syrup and an egg white.

Invitational tastings organized in the comfort of a few very select afternoon bars around Europe have earned it high marks among professionals.

Traditionally, dry, London-style gin is considered the purest of gins as it is unsweetened by sugar with only natural flavors added to the final distillate. In addition to its pronounced notes of juniper, licorice and coriander, The Gardener contains a notable presence of pink grapefruit, lemon and orange. The abundant citrus imparts a “Riviera-style” freshness to its taste.

According to Matthieu Perrin, whose family has partnered for a decade with Pitt, The Gardener “is an expression of the land we cultivate and guard for the generations to come. It is a quest for perfection, dreamed up by friends who share a dedication to art and to craft.”

To create the spirit, Pitt and Perrin lured Nichol out of retirement. At 68, Nichol is a legend in gin with over 40 years experience. In 2006 he became the Master Distiller for Tanqueray Nº Ten.

Nichol was tempted into the secret, two-year long collaboration with Pitt and Perrin by the opportunity to create the gin he “always dreamed of.” The result is a small-stilled, totally organic gin, crisp and fragrant.

The advance into spirits marks a significant change in direction — but not the aim of Pitt’s portfolio. In the decade since he and then-partner Angelina Jolie announced Miraval Rosé, he has continually expanded production. First adding other estate vintages (Muse and Studio) and then, after years of development, bringing Fleur de Miraval champagne to market.

Pitt’s business acumen and devotion to winemaking, as court records attest, is “his passion.”

Since purchasing Château Miraval with Jolie in 2012 and partnering with the Perrin family the following year, he has steadily enhanced his vineyards and facilities while generating international interest, recognition and demand.

Pitt’s flourishing interest has encouraged a number of other celebrities into winemaking estate investments in the region including George Clooney and George Lucas.

As Pitt told PEOPLE in 2020, “above all, Miraval is a wonderful, exceptional estate that I fell in love with, and that I continue to invest in to make it one of the finest estates in Provence. For the wine, I partnered with the Perrin family. They have been winemakers for five generations. Together, we’re in it for the long term. It’s not just a passing trend.”

While the disposition of Miraval itself remains a matter of acrimonious court filings between Pitt and Jolie, one industry insider tells PEOPLE that “the matters between them will be worked out sooner or later. What will be left will be Miraval. The land and its wine as well as Brad’s knowledge and business sense.”