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The Team

Teamname: Ginstanbul

Members: Melek Özdemir, Mert Dutucu





Start-up: Ginstanbul (Spirit Arts UG)

Founded in: 2019

What is your idea about?

Usually, gin is made by a process that produces only a one-sided flavor profile. Ginstanbul, on the other hand, is a new western dry gin and is poured through a process that fully fans out the flavor profile.

Ginstanbul is primarily for straight consumption. We were bothered by the fact that most spirits are drunk neat, meaning without the addition of a mixed drink. With Ginstanbul you discover a new and extravagant taste

An exciting floral western dry gin with distinctive flavors

My name is Ginstanbul. I am an exciting floral western dry gin with distinctive flavors. I was born in Germany, but my roots go back to the Ottoman Empire.

Therefore, my story is about the connection of different cultures. The shared enjoyment. Sharing the joys in life. I would love to tell you more about me. If you smell me, you will notice an intense, fruity and floral aroma, reminiscent of the Mediterranean culinary variety.

My taste, on the other hand, is more complex. You can sense the floral roses and the tart and sour note of the pomegranate, but what else is there? A note that rounds everything off, caresses and leaves an indescribable impression. Can you taste the mystery of mastic? I invite you to the seduction of Eurasia.

How did you get together as a team?

In March, Melek and Mert were sitting at two tables nearby in a restaurant in Cologne to break their fast, but they did not know each other until then.

One of the waiters, who knew the two of us, suddenly introduced us to each other. Melek, who as a passionate founder, always has a bottle of Ginstanbul with her, told Mert about her plan. 

Mert's first thought was that the waiter wanted to combine his business acumen and Melek's vision to make Ginstanbul successful. In hindsight, he probably just wanted to create a conversation between us to buy time, since we were the only ones still waiting for our food. 

Fortunately, we got along well and Mert offered Melek his help in marketing, as he works for the Cologne-based STRÖER Group. Melek had great need in the situation, as the product was finalized and listed in some local ones, but the demand was not yet the desired one.

After a few conversations, Melek was convinced by Mert's business-minded nature and Mert by Melek's great vision and their convincing product, so both decided at the same time to run Ginstanbul together from now on.

How did you come up with your idea?

As a creative bartender with many years of experience, Melek was always looking for new inspiration for cocktails and concepts in the gastronomy. Gradually, Melek's desire to create her own product grew stronger and stronger. She attended extensive gin trainings and studied the benefits of the spirit. As a result, she had organized her own gin tastings and in the same decided that she wanted to create her own gin.

After that, everything happened quickly: driven by her vision, Melek wrote the main ingredients of Ginstanbul on a napkin at the bar counter, painted the shape of the bottle and finally postulated the name of the gin in the empty bar. Ginstanbul was born

What are you studying/working or what have you studied?

Melek: Business psychology with a focus on leadership psychology & change management at FOM Köln

Mert: Media Law (B.A) at the University of Cologne - Senior Account Manager at STRÖER


When Melek chose the ingredients for the recipe, she drank a Turkish cay while listening to classical Turkish music to fully surrender to the process.