This is Lukas Lavoie, the founder of Voyage autour du gin.
Lukas is from Lévis on the South shore of Quebec City, where he still lives. He’s 30 years old and studied stage technique and managements well as architecture.
Before starting his own company, Lukas worked as an architect for a firm. He worked there for 4 years and he worked a lot. Too much we could say. He developed health issues and took a year off work.
It was during that year that Lukas discovered gin. The first time he ever tried it, he was sitting at a bar and decided to order a gin and tonic. It was a sudden decision, he didn’t over think it, he simply wanted a G&T. It was his first one ever. And it was disgusting. The bartender came back with a mason jar with an ounce of gin drowned in bar gun cheap tonic that tastes like skittles with a couple of sad ice cubes floating on top. He gave it a go and clearly didn’t like it. The bartender noticed and suggested that he tried a gin neat. Another first time in Lukas’ life. He did but did this time it wasn’t an unpleasant experience at all, but quite the contrary. From this moment on, Lukas started to read about gin and to buy gin bottles. He would read about the bottle before he bought it and little by little he accumulated quite a home collection. The more he tasted, the more he realized that all gins were made of very distinct ingredients and aromas and the more curious he became.
One ordinary morning, Lukas was taking pictures of gin bottles for his social media. He took a bottle of Menaud and when he moved it he noticed that there was words engraved on its side: Release the freedom that is captive in you. And that was it. He took the ferry to go to Quebec City, when to the firm and quit his life job.
At that point, he had already visited a few distilleries and grasped that he was almost more interested in the story of the products and the humans behind it than in the gins themselves. So he went on a trip. He chose distilleries whose philosophies joined his own and started to travel all across Quebec to meet the people behind the gins and learn how they were made.
When he came back from his trip, he began to organize events and nights with his friends and people around him where they would all drink gin and he would tell them stories about the ingredients, the methods or the people behind what they were actually drinking. And there it was: Voyage Autour du Gin was born.
The concept is intelligent and simple: Lukas goes to you with selected gins. He brings samples of the ingredients that are in the bottles, talks about the history of gin and tells the stories of the selected products. He guides his guests through a tasting and finishes with a cocktail or two. Lukas has no pretention to be a mixologist, but what he does he does it well. He generally teaches people how to make a quality and tasty gin and tonic and sometimes makes an extra cocktail, generally a simple gin classic. His concept is an invitation to travel whether it be with the ingredients, the actual countries the gins are made in, or with accounts of his own travel through the world of Quebec’s gin micro-distilleries.
Altogether, his path to the world of cocktails is an original one. Lukas struck us as a genuinely hospitable guy. He greeted us at a friend’s bar, offered us cocktails upon arrival, took the time to make see through big ice cubes the night before and made sure to serve us a couple of perfectly looking and tasting White Negronis. His attention to details and natural friendliness would make him no doubt a great addition to any party.
A little bit more about Lukas…
The three words that describe him best: humble – passionate – low self confidence
The most magical place he ever visited: The Société Secrète Distillery in Gaspésie. He spent the night at Rocher Percé and drank the bottle until the sun rose up.
A fun fact about Lukas: He likes to crumble Hershey’s white chocolate bars in his morning cereals.
What Lukas wanted to do he was little: He dreamed to be a professional BMX rider. He had good skills and his parents would send him in summer camps. He didn’t have girlfriends in high school because he only wanted to ride his BMX.
Something he has achieved on his life bucket-list: It’s wasn’t properly on his bucket-list but when he decided to quit his life job as an architect and jump into the unknown, it was definitely the biggest move he has ever done.