There are lots of things that go beautifully with gin – olives in a dry martini, Campari in a Negroni, plain soda water to make a G&T, or even champagne for a fizzy French 75. I can safely say that one mixer I didn’t think I’d ever see is discarded motorcycle parts.
This totally unique product, perfect for the Harley enthusiast who has everything, stems from a partnership between Uwe Ehinger, Serviceplan Group and Studio Oeding. Ehinger builds custom motorcycles in Germany, collecting, reusing and discarding countless rare parts. According to his website, Ehinger was infected with an “incurable fever: the Harley virus” when he was 17, and now calls himself a “motorcycle archaeologist.”
He collaborated with the aforementioned parties to create a line of premium dry gins, packaged in handcrafted bottles, each with a different original Harley-Davidson engine part. On his website, Ehinger writes that whenever he found rare bikes, he would wonder how to use every single part.
So why bring alcohol into the picture? He says the gin is “preserving the spirit of the old machines in an actual spirit…every detail of the packaging is a meticulous rendition of the era in which the [original] bike parts [were] originally crafted.” They’ve recreated the handmade packaging of motorcycle parts from the 30s and 40s, using authentic materials and techniques – like custom-made glass and the original vintage machine parts. Each bottle is complete with a serial number, and is wrapped in wax paper that reads the engine part’s story, imprinted with an original 1931 Heidelberg Tiegel press.
The product line debuted with three different gins and corresponding Harley parts. The bottlings included 1939 Flathead camshafts from the Mexican desert, 1947 Knucklehead screws from Chile and 1962 Panhead rocker arms from South Korea. The first batch sold out within hours, and considering how rare these parts are, they definitely weren’t cheap – reportedly topping $1,000 per bottle.
When I first heard about this story, my immediate reaction was wondering whether this is actually a drinkable product, or just a novelty item to display on your bar cart. Is it sanitary to mix oiled up machine parts with premium booze? Apparently, yes – the news release promises that the motorcycle parts are “specially cleansed and sealed with a tin alloy to make it safe for them to be utilized in a drink.” Safe? Sure. Unique? Absolutely. Delicious? We’re still waiting to hear back on that one.