What did you do before creating your gin?
While I was studying for my history degree I knew I wanted to start my own business. I love researching and definitely have always had an entrepreneurial mindset. 10 years ago, I was working at Dolly’s Gin Palace in Falmouth, Cornwall and saw the popularity of gin. If I'm honest, I didn’t even like gin before i started working there! I found out that gin could be delicious and I wanted to create my own back then…but just didn’t have the experience or confidence. After I graduated, I moved to London and as well as working in video production, I worked for gin festivals, bars and two gin brands. I then got my dream job as ’The Gintern’ for Ilovegin.com! It was a viral job online and I was picked from 5,000 applicants. It enabled me to visit distilleries and write about gin every day. It made me realise that I actually knew a lot more than I gave myself credit for.
What made you decide to create your gin, and what's the inspiration behind your gin?
After meeting many friends in the industry, I asked for some help learning the process of making gin. I started playing around with my recipe, but it took me 2 years to create the final one that I was happy with. This made me realise i needed to get it out there! I love London Dry gins and also wanted to use some unique botanicals, but more importantly I wanted it to become a “go-to” gin. I was very fortunate to work with my talented friend Ryan on the design of my bottle, as well as Allied Glass believing in my madness. I love anything vintage, so I really wanted to give the bottle an antique feel. The frosted green really stands out (and looks like sea glass) and I love how the gold shines in the light. The shell logo was inspired by my love of Cornish beaches and the gold leaf design has some of my key botanicals added in.
Can you tell us more about the distillery?
It was very important to me to have my recipe distilled in my treasured home county of Cornwall. After a meeting with Trevethan Distillery, I knew I wanted it to be made there. Not only do they have Art Deco inspired bottles with a history dating back to the 1920s, but John the distiller has so much expertise. John distils my gin recipe in their two 300L Copper Pot Stills, called Doris and Rose. Each still produces around 300-350 bottles. I then go in to sign the gin off (taste it), bottle and stick the back labels and seals on myself. I also make sure to handwrite the batch number on each one. It’s a true labour of love, and you really know it is handcrafted!
Can you tell us more about the botanicals you use?
There are 9 botanicals in total. The 3 key ones are Orange, Gentian root and Passion Flower. I actually drank passion flower tea for years, and the flower looks pretty cool too! It doesn't taste too floral but perhaps similar to Meadowsweet. There is definitely an earthy aroma, and the gin itself is fresh, citrussy and perfect with a premium tonic water.
What have been your biggest achievements so far?
I started Holly’s Gin with nothing in the bank, so I made the first batch with a successful Crowd Funder campaign. This was a real challenge as I had an ambitious target. It was an all or nothing campaign, and I sold every single bottle with pre-orders for the first batch. It was a massive achievement to start with. Seeing my gin on the shelf in shops or more recently winning Silver at the IWSC are also really proud moments.
How would you describe your gin in 3 words?
Beautiful, Smooth, Moreish
What's your favourite way to drink your gin?
I’m a G&T lady, so love a classic - plenty of ice, double shot of Holly’s Gin, premium tonic (like Navas), and some fresh orange peel. I also love a Negroni or Gibson.
Which gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
I love Graveney Gin - one of my favourites and another amazing female gin owner! I also really enjoy No. 209 Gin from San Francisco, as it’s one of the gins that “got me into gin”.
What's next for you and Holly's Gin - any exciting plans?
Now that I am back living in Cornwall, you may have seen I am doing up a gin trailer. Holly’s Gin Hut will be up and running at events serving G&Ts (as soon as we can). I also absolutely love creating video content, so will be doing more of it on my social media channels.
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