What made you decide to create Colombo No.7 Gin ?
The story begins during the second world war, when we were asked to use our stills to distill high quality spirits for the war effort. The spirits we distilled were of excellent quality and my grandfather thought it would make an excellent base for making a high quality gin. Special regulations were created to authorise us to manufacture gin in the greater British Empire, in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Colombo No.7 is the original recipe revived - and while it is currently distilled at Langley Distillery in the UK due challenging alcohol production regulations in Sri Lanka, it includes traditional Sri Lankan spices and botanicals such as curry leaves, cinnamon bark and ginger.
How did you get from the idea to the finished product?
Colombo No.7 was produced to this recipe nearly 70 years ago, along with Ceylon Arrack it completed the story of our brands – one of the reasons why we decided to revive the recipe. The gin was perfect from its first sample distillation. We wondered whether to adjust the amount of spiciness that it has, but in the end kept it exactly as it was – a perfectly balanced, subtly spiced London Dry Gin.
What's a normal day like for you at Colombo No.7 Gin?
Rather busy, we have interest from all over the world - from Malaysia and Singapore to Australia, Japan and distant countries we would never have imagined. We are keeping our expansion slow to focus on ensuring our gin is consistent in quality and trying to make sure we can meet stock requirements.
How would you describe Colombo No.7 Gin in 3 words?
Pour me another!
What makes Colombo No.7 Gin different?
Colombo No.7 stays true to the London Dry Gin style of gin, making it perfect for an every day G&T that is affordable, and yet giving you access to a craft gin with provenance. It's a brand you can truly fall in love with.
What's your favourite way to drink Colombo No.7 Gin?
As a traditional G&T with good quality tonic and plenty of ice, or in a Martini as, at 43.1% it has the strength for it. It also seems to make magical Negronis - the subtle spiciness of the Colombo No.7 gin marries beautifully with Campari and Martini. You really do need to try it!
What are your favourite gins (other than your own of course!)?
Hayman’s. What a perfectly well-made gin.
What's next for Colombo No.7 Gin?
We do have a few plans, wait and see…