What did you do before creating Gin 1689?
I was working for Vodafone and afterwards in advertising, so a bit different then launching a gin brand!
What made you decide to create Gin 1689?
My brother has a chocolate factory in Holland and I really enjoyed the fact that he was making a product which you can actual see, hold and eat. That inspired me to make my own product. I am very passionate about beer and gin, and after reading the story of William of Orange who started the whole gin craze in the UK I knew I wanted to launch gin.
What's the story behind the Gin 1689 name?
In 1689 the Dutch king William of Orange became king of England and made gin popular with the British population. This was the moment the gin craze started.
Can you tells us more about the recipe and distillery?
My goal was to find the authentic recipe and bring it back to market. It took me 18 months before I found the authentic recipe in the British Library and now I had to find a distillery that had enough experience to make this gin. After a search, I found Herman Jansen Beverages in Schiedam, a town that for centuries has been the capital of Dutch Gin and Genever. Herman Jansen was founded in 1777, so I knew with their experience they know how to bring back the authentic gin.
What have been your biggest achievements so far?
Besides being 'Gin of the Month' with the Craft Gin Club in 2019, I am very proud of the fact that many internationally renowned bartenders work with Gin 1689. For example, in Amsterdam we work together with the famous cocktail makers Timo Janse & Tess Posthumus from The Flying Dutchman, which we consider to be the best cocktail bar in Holland, and they have an amazing Gin 1689 cocktail on the menu.
I am very excited that we are now available in more than 30 countries and we are one of the founding members of the Liquid Market, a cocktail festival in several countries with the best cocktail bars and brands represented.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
The biggest challenge is that there are so many gin brands in the market, so competition is fierce. Therefore, it’s important to stick to your story, quality and drive.
How would you describe Gin 1689 in one sentence?
Bringing back the gin from when it all started three centuries ago!
What's your favourite way to drink your gin?
My perfect serve for our 1689 Dutch Dry Gin is with Indian Tonic and a slice of orange as a garnish. My favourite cocktail is a Negroni, which works very well with our 1689 Dutch Dry Gin and I can recommend this to every Negroni fan.
For our 1689 Pink Gin I love to combine it with a Mediterranean Tonic and a strawberry as a garnish. It is also brilliant in fruitier cocktails and works especially very well in the Martinez.
Which gins would you always have on your gin shelf?
Mostly Gin 1689! And I like Bobby's Gin from Holland as well.
What's next for Gin 1689 - any exciting plans?
Absolutely, we are launching a Gin & Tonic Gift pack together with The London Essence Co across Europe, especially for retail and the Christmas period. It takes 2 to tango right!
In September we will launch our flagship store and bar in London in partnership with our UK distributor PR Dutch Drinks. It's called "IT AIN'T MUCH, IF IT AIN'T DUTCH" and you can find it at one of the arches at the popular Bermondsey Beer Mile. It will be Craft Drinks Valhalla with Dutch beers, spirits and cocktails as far as the eye can see and the perfect location where we will organise gin tastings too.
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