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What is Applejack?

In a faraway land in a faraway time (colonial America) distilling fruit cider into brandies was much more common than distilling beer into whiskies. While technically, Applejack is an apple brandy, it is very similar to spirits like bourbon or rye whiskey aged in new American oak barrels, and you’ll notice a distinct smooth fruit complexity from cider brandy aged this way.

Eventually whiskey became the preferred industrial process, and Applejack faded to a rare and niche product. It is finally finding a renaissance in the modern craft distilling era.

 Behind the Name

ELSEWHEN is an embodiment of the possibilities of Applejack. It takes inspiration from great historic traditions as well as past dreams of the future. It imagines that future where robots lovingly hand make our spirits while we enjoy a life of leisure. The most delicious premium crafted spirits don’t always have to be serious.

About Rough Hands

Rough Hands Logo

Rough Hands is the creative output of Fritz Kuckuck and Maria Grau. We have had projects ranging from gin barrel aged beer to light festival art installations to botanical ciders. More flavour. More fun.

This company came about after homebrewing led to home distilling led to opening NZ’s first “craft distillery” and then that distillery was bought by our partners. We were free to do whatever we wanted. We realised we’d developed a love of rum, but had a desire to distil local produce. Could we make rum from apples? We haven’t yet, but…


Looking at a return to the spirits industry, we knew it just had to be bigger. Not in a commercial, make-more-money kind of way, but in a this-needs-to-make-a-difference kind of way. Cocktails to Mars! What if we were taking spirits off planet? What would really matter then?

Growing up in a world of 1960’s and 1970’s sci-fi, and developing a love for early 20th century design and drinking culture, we wanted to create a retro-future universe where applejack was never forgotten.

Once we developed the spirit, creating the brand and package was another key project for us. After a careful search, we were incredibly lucky to be able to engage Trudy and Ewa from SingleDouble in Auckland to help realise our vision of the future seen through the past. With their extensive experience in international spirits packaging design for iconic brands, they have beautifully incorporated all the elements of historical futurism we requested.

Availability and Distribution

Each batch is a vintage, made from a single harvest year. When it runs out, it’s gone. Currently ELSEWHEN is only distributed by Rough Hands Ltd. Join our list to be the first to learn of new releases.

Trade can contact us on accounts_nz