What did you do before creating Tinkture Rose Gin?
For the past 10 years my main focus has been on my two young children, Huxley and Raphael. I’ve treasured being able to be there for them while they are young – it’s been such a privilege. During this time I was also a freelance recipe developer and food blogger. Before that I designed a kids clothing line and small capsule clothing collections for the likes of Red Bull and O’Neill, all while travelling around the world with my husband as he competed on the world surfing circuit. It’s been a pretty non-linear career path!
What made you decide to create your gin, and what's the inspiration behind Tinkture Rose Gin?
I never actually set out to create a gin – it was a bit of a happy accident. From the start I really wanted to create drinks where I actually knew what the ingredients were – drinks that were delicious and clean. With Rose Gin, I was working on a rather different concoction (something we are still working on and very excited about, but you will have to wait until it's ready) and was experimenting with flavours and fresh ingredients from our garden, including English Roses - trying all sorts of different combinations, processes and distilling methods. One of these recipes was quite simply beautiful. The taste was like nothing I had ever experienced before - the subtlety of the fresh Roses and the lingering warm caress of the gin and then, when I mixed this strange amber golden elixir with tonic, it revealed its true colour - a delightful, subtle pink!
It was just too good to ignore so created a small run of just under 1000 bottles, hoping to sell them at fairs and Christmas markets around Cornwall over the course of a few months. However, after doing just 2 shows we had entirely sold out, months before Christmas. The reaction from the public was so incredibly positive, I simply had no choice but to fully commit! The inspiration that runs through all of Tinkture is actually spending time in beautiful gardens with my Gran, known as ‘Tink’ when I was growing up as a little girl. She’s just an incredible lady!
Can you tell us more about the distillery and distillation process?
When it came to scale up our production, I was incredibly lucky to work with Shaun from the Pocketful of Stones Distillery. He’s been such a good friend and incredibly supportive! The distillery is right on the Cornish coast at Long Rock in Penzance. It’s only small and the main focus are the two beautiful, handcrafted copper pot stills. The making of our gin is very much a hands-on process, from planting, nurturing and picking the rose petals (huge thank you to Jan at Maddocks farm organics!) to the filling of the stills, and essentially the tasting, testing and bottling of the gin! We only use 8 botanicals – they are ALL organic and responsibly sourced. We actually had to dial the quantities right back to allow the true flavour of our organic David Austin roses to come through without being overly flowery or artificial – just perfect!
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
It’s been ridiculous! The challenge of scaling up from a passion to a viable business while balancing a home life, 2 young children and the demands of a fledgling business and everything that comes with it! We are such a new company that everything is a whole new adventure. A perfect example was our invitation to be the ‘Spirit of the Month’ at Fortnum and Mason in the run up to Christmas 2018 - something that should have been impossible given our youth and inexperience, but which we somehow managed to make happen with a couple of last minute dashes between Cornwall and London. Tinkture Rose Gin became the most successful ‘Spirit of the month’ in Fortnum & Masons' illustrious history. I still have to pinch myself and it makes me so grateful that we have started out on this adventure.
How would you describe Tinkture Rose Gin in 3 words?
Delightful, Unique, Surprising…and my favourite!
What's your favourite way to drink Tinkture Rose Gin?
Regularly! I like my gin simple and clean. A good measure in a heavy cut glass tumbler, plenty of ice, a slice of fresh pear and a solid splash of a quality tonic, like original Fever Tree. Simple. Beautiful!
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
I do love Shaun’s Caspyn Gin. It’s particularly good straight. We’ve always loved the Isle of Harris gin and it’s hard to go past Herno - they just seem to consistently produce quality tipples!
What's next for Tinkture Rose Gin - any exciting plans?
The first aim is to share our Rose Gin with more people. We already have several other products in the pipeline – and the key point is that I want them all to be clean, organic, delicious, interesting and relevant. I’m not interested in producing a certain drink simply to sell units - if we are going to make something different and original, I will make it because it is something that I want to drink, and hopefully lots of people will love it as much as I do!
The Gin Guide's profile, tasting notes and review of Tinkture Rose Gin