At the end of 2016 as Old Bakery Gin was being prepared for its launch, Paul Jackson (Editor of The Gin Guide) spoke to the gin's creator, Ian Puddick, to find out more about the brand, the gin and the stories behind it! View the video or you can also read the responses below.
What's the story behind Old Bakery Gin?
I have a completely separate business which we operate from an old bakery. We found out that over 100 years ago, when it was a bakery, they also made and sold illegal gin. Being a gin fan, I decided to resurrect their recipe.
On the brickwork on the side of the building there was the faint outline of the old bakery sign from over a hundred years ago. By going through the archives and speaking to neighbours we were able to recreate the original sign, and we've used that on the label for Old Bakery Gin.
What has the process been like from your idea to the finished product?
I started off completely in the unknown, dealing with HMRC, customs, alcohol licensing and trading standards. It was a bureaucratic nightmare! Understanding it all was the most difficult part. Tracking down the original, secret family recipe was the next hurdle. I then bought a small still and recreated the flavours from that recipe.
Can you tell us about the Old Bakery Gin distillery and distillation process?
It was originally an illegal, illicit gin sold to the pubs and clubs of the day, a hundred years ago, under the counter. So in the spirit of recreating that old brand, I'm going to keep that a secret!
What has the journey been like since creating Old Bakery Gin?
I just can't explain how helpful people have been. Pubs, clubs and people within the industry have bent over backwards to offer support, advice, tasting notes and introductions. People have been really enthusiastic about our gin and I can't thank everybody enough.
How would you describe Old Bakery Gin in 3 words?
It's light and very refreshing with a very nice, gentle but flavoursome juniper hit. Was that 3 words?
What's your favourite way to drink Old Bakery Gin?
Fever-Tree Tonic, 6 mint leaves warmed in your hand to release the natural oils, and a couple of raspberries to garnish. It won't taste minty, but it enhances the juniper flavours and is the perfect way to drink Old Bakery Gin.
What are your favourite gins (other than Old Bakery Gin!)?
We've been delighted with Beefeater 24. It is mass produced and it is one of the big boys, but it is really nice. We're also inspired by Sipsmith Gin and they've been very encouraging. The whole gin industry has been very kind to us.