What did you do before creating Sekforde Mixers?
I used to work in advertising looking after a mix of different stuff from beer to beauty. Sekforde originally started as an experiment and a hobby and it kind of exploded from there.
How did you get into mixer and spirits industries?
It didn’t actually start with Sekforde for Gin - my husband and I were both big rum and whiskey drinkers and got frustrated by the lack of ways to enjoy the spirits. For us Cola and Ginger Beer masked the flavours in the spirits and didn't do justice to the craft and unique flavours. They also tended to be sugary or full of artificial sweeteners.
So, we set out to create a different way to enjoy whiskey and rum starting from scratch and thinking about what flavours would work, how strongly flavoured they should be etc. The gin mixer came a little later on, and is a blend of raspberry, rose and sage. Sekforde is named after the East London street where we first dreamt up the idea.
What's the inspiration behind Sekforde for Gin?
Early on in the launch of the whiskey and rum mixers, people started asking about a gin mixer. I've never been a big gin drinker partly because I don't actually like tonic and find it too bitter, due to the quinine. It turned out I wasn't alone on this and it was holding other people back from enjoying gin too. So, with this in mind we set out to create a gentler and more refreshing way for people to enjoy gin without using quinine.
To design a truly bespoke botanical mixer for gin, our approach has been to look beyond the juniper into the garden of secondary botanicals where the gin distiller demonstrates their individuality like cassia, coriander, cardamom, and citrus. We avoided the customary pairing of sugar and quinine to counterbalance the piney bitterness of the juniper, instead using a soft sweetness from rose and raspberry extracts. These flavours offer an evocatively light and summery characteristic. The dry, leafy secondary flavours from this initial combination merge seamlessly into the sage and other botanicals in Sekforde, giving a cool and subtle backdrop to enjoy the finish of the gin. The final flavours in the mixer are raspberry, rose and sage.
How did you get from the idea to the finished product?
We start in our kitchen experimenting with lots of different flavours and trying a great many gins. We created a selection of prototypes and asked our friends and family what they thought. Once we had decided on the botanical flavours, we worked with an independent bottling company to combine the botanicals and the spring water.
Can you tell us about the ingredients and how it is made?
The mixer combines finest grade botanical extracts (we don’t use any artificial flavours) and in the case of the gin mixer these are rose, raspberry and sage. We tried 11 different raspberry extracts to find the one we liked best. Once we have these we combine them with spring water. This gives it a really clear crisp taste. The mixers contain a little bit of sugar but far less than standard mixers and we don’t use any artificial sweeteners. They contain 40 calories per bottle and under 4g of sugar per 100ml while standard tonics are around 8g.
What makes Sekforde for Gin different?
Sekforde is a unique flavour combination that doesn't contain quinine. For people who don't like tonic or are looking to try something totally different Sekforde offers them an exciting new choice. It is also a brilliant partner for fruit gins - to create a simple and stunning summer pitcher, we combine raspberry gin with Sekforde and garnish with frozen raspberries and a spring of rosemary.
Do you have any favourite gins to serve with Sekforde for Gin?
We have a few favourites, we really enjoy Sekforde with: Sacred Cardamon or Pink Grapefruit gin, East London Liquor Co London Dry, The Botanist Gin, Sipsmith London Dry Gin, Beefeater Gin or Tanqueray Gin. We experiment with different garnishes depending on the gin but a classic is a slice of pink grapefruit.
What's next for Sekforde - any exciting plans?
We have just launched a new mixer for tequila and mezcal which is very exciting. It combines prickly pear, fig and bitters. You’ll also see us at events doing lots of tastings across the year so please find us on social and come say hi!