What did you do before creating your gins?
I still run a design agency, however, my long term dream is to work on my gin brand full time. I am a creative person, and working on new gin concepts to me is a very creative thing to do. I admire the skill behind each of the gin making processes, from choosing the right botanicals, to working up the proof of concepts, to the final distillation process.
What made you decide to create your gins, and what's the inspiration behind them?
I discovered gin in Edinburgh whilst there on a business trip. It was Gin Mare served with olives, rosemary, a slice of orange and a great tonic. I was hooked as soon as I took my first sip. Gin Mare is a savoury gin and I loved the description of the botanicals used. From that day on I thought to myself, I want to produce something like this. My next gin discovery was Isle of Harris, it’s just an amazing gin.
Can you tell us more about the distillery and distillation process?
Currently Atlas Gin is distilled under a partnership - it took me a long time and lots of talks to choose my distillery and Laurence of Wharf Distillery totally got what I was trying to do and achieve with my brand and the ideas behind the flavours. I had numerous conversations with Laurence and lots of visits to his wonderful distillery. If he was shocked by my ideas he did not show it. I took lots of time choosing the right botanicals for my recipes as I wanted to source them from their country of origin, and there are quite a few botanicals in our Shichimi Gin. The process for distillation is the only way in my opinion. One shot distilled, the botanicals are cold macerated for 24 hours. The final gin is cut with pure filtered water. And of course only a copper still is used.
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
The biggest achievement has been launching a new gin brand with 3 variations in what can only be described as an awful year (2020). The biggest challenge has been logistics really - I wanted not only for the gins to be the best they can be, but the branding to be as good. I did all the design myself, it was a real learning curve and the final designs are probably the last of about 30 different labels. The whole story has been great to be honest. I have met so many wonderful people on this journey and everyone has been so helpful and the advice has been superb. The next part of the plan/story is for the end of next year to open my own distillery and distil the gins myself.
How would you describe your gins in 3 words?
Distinctive, pioneering, adventurous.
What's your favourite way to drink your gins?
I like to follow the advice of the bar tender, he or she knows their stuff, so listen to what they have to say. Gin is more than just a slice of lemon and some ice, it's an experience and should be enjoyed as such.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
Gin Mare, Isle of Harris Gin, Tanqueray Flor de Seville, Blood Monkey Irish Malt Gin and of course all 3 Atlas Gins!
What's next for you and Atlas Gin - any exciting plans?
I am working on 3 new concepts for released later this year, but they will be released in stages. I am currently looking for premises for my own distillery as well. For now, I am enjoying each day, the things that go right, the things that go wrong, and learning from them, and that will hopefully make me a better distiller!
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