What did you do before creating your distillery and Ealing Gin?
Amanda has had a successful 25 year career in a London PR agency working with some of the UK’s biggest brands and organisations. Simon started his career in marketing before setting up a small web-development business.
What made you decide to create your distillery and gin?
Amanda is originally from Durham and has loads of family and friends there who come and stay a lot – London hotels are expensive! Years ago when Durham Gin was launched we ended up with about 8 bottles in as many months which our many northern visitors had brought for us. It struck us that people in Ealing… who, like us, love living here, are proud of its great cultural heritage (the famous Ealing film studios, jazz and blues club and theatre) its diversity and its strong, friendly community, would love an Ealing gin to gift to friends and family but also, of course, to drink!
What is the inspiration behind Ealing Gin?
We started thinking about what it would be like… a super-premium, fittingly “top-notch” product that could carry the gin mantle for the ‘The Queen of the Suburbs’ (the nickname for Ealing since 1901). It would be a classic but distinctive London Dry with some modern tones and would use some botanicals inspired by the lovely – very English – parks and gardens of Ealing. We’d create a truly beautiful bottle (a real keeper!) that would celebrate Ealing’s heritage such as our famous Ealing film studios, jazz and blues music and the borough’s iconic Art Deco buildings.
But at its heart it had to have good spirit and friendliness… as a family we know that having friends and a sense of belonging are incredibly important so a big part of our brand is our “good spirit” promise: 20% of profits will go to good causes addressing loneliness and social isolation.
Can you tell us more about the distillery and botanicals?
The distillery is small but perfectly formed, housing our lovely traditional copper still “Felicity”. We steep our botanicals for 24 hours before running the still. The recipe combines classic botanicals like juniper, coriander, cardamom and angelica with more modern ones such as pink peppercorn, cassia and sweet orange peel. Our Ealing inspired botanicals are chamomile flowers, garden mint, scented rose and rosemary.
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
It was very difficult to get our bottle produced to meet our original vision (ie. the beautiful design created by our very gifted designer Alex Hunter). The design is complex because the pattern travels across the shoulder and up the neck of the bottle. Various people encouraged us to change it but we persevered.
The pattern is hand applied in three parts, then the bottles go into the oven in small batches… this means the colour tones can vary slightly but this simply makes the bottle more individual and unique. People have absolutely loved the bottle so we’re very pleased we stuck to our guns!
How would you describe Ealing Gin in 3 words?
Distinctive, sophisticated, pleasing.
What's your favourite way to drink your gin?
We love it with traditional Indian tonic water and with one of three garnishes depending on our mood. Each garnish highlights different notes in the gin: a spring of fresh garden mint; pink grapefruit and a sprig of rosemary; scented rose petals.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
We’ll always have a particular fondness for Durham Gin!
What's next for Ealing Gin - any exciting plans?
We’d love to grow enough to create a distillery that we could open to the public with a visitors' centre where we could showcase all things Ealing… we have great locals artists, photographers and musicians.