What did you do before creating Cantium Gin?
I worked in the media industry as a filmmaker. I wrote and directed content for broadcast from QVC to ITV. I won an award for 'Best Documentary Film' for Blind Encounter that I produced, directed and edited.
What made you decide to create Cantium Gin?
Gin has always been my go-to drink. So the passion has always been there. I was inspired by the range of gins available but I thought there was a space in the market for a small batch gin with a conscience. Not only does it need to taste great but it must have an environmental angle too. That’s when I thought about single-use packaging after a trip to the local farm shop. I bought all my shopping in a reusable box with no other packaging present. I soon hit upon the reusable flask idea, which gives it a second use that lasts well after the gin has gone.
I plan to work with charities like 'Warming Up The Homeless' to donate returned flasks via a customer discount scheme. We also want to look into recyclable pouches to refill your own Cantium Gin flask. Watch this space…
What is the inspiration behind the brand and the gin itself?
Cantium is what the Roman’s called Kent and the logo is based on a mosaic tile found at Lullingstone Roman Villa near Cantium HQ. Where possible I use botanicals that are iconic to Kent and that I can source within a few miles. These include, Apple, Blackberry, Cobnuts, Hops, Lavender and Roasted Chestnuts. Some of these were actually introduced by the Romans.
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements?
The biggest challenge is learning the process of distilling gin. That required a lot of books, Youtube videos and staring at the still. Then of course it is getting that perfect profile down. Lots of different experiments with even more botanicals, macerating times, steeping, infusing, or a bit of both. It’s all trial and error but very satisfying when you feel you’re on to something. I also love foraging for the botanicals, like the Chestnuts, Cobnuts and Apples.
How would you describe your gin in 3 words?
Smooth, Contemporary and Satisfying.
What's your favourite way to drink Cantium Gin?
I like to drink it neat, in fact, this was part of my challenge to make it smooth enough to drink neat. Of course I love it with a premium tonic, normally a Fever Tree light to let the flavours come through.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
Brockmans Gin and Silent Pool Gin.
What's next for Cantium Gin - any exciting plans?
I am working on Rubesco which is Cantium’s Pink Gin. It will come in a gorgeous Pink Flask and I’m using Kent botanicals like strawberries and raspberries.