What did you do before creating Twisted Gin?
Born in New York, raised in Nigeria and the UK, I have lived in more houses & apartments than I can remember. My parents were in the airline industry and we were stationed in many different places during my youth. It’s given me an amazing perspective of the world. My career background is enterprise IT & security. I spent the last 18 years working in the US running engineering teams in various countries for large global firms.
What made you decide to create your gin?
For my 40th birthday I invited all of my friends to a fun weekend in Winchester and to tour the Bombay Sapphire distillery. I was so inspired by what they had created at their distillery in Laverstoke Mill that I decided that I wanted to make my own Gins, design my own bottle, and sell it globally.
Can you tell us more about the distillery?
We are in a 2000 sq ft building in a small business park just south of the village of Henfield in West Sussex. The distillery and warehousing are downstairs and upstairs are our offices.
Can you tell us more about the distillation and botanicals?
We use the vapour infusion method of distillation; I find that it gives the Gin a much lighter, refreshing taste with none of that post-enjoyment headache the next day. Our still, named after my late father Geoffrey, was manufactured in the US in Kentucky by Hillbilly Stills. It’s a mix of stainless steel and copper which keeps us on our toes during the distillation.
The two internationally award-winning Gins we have released both have around 17 botanicals. This includes some fresh fruits which are sourced locally and prepared fresh for each distillation.
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
There are so many things to list such as designing & manufacturing the bottle with Wade ceramics, finding a suitable building to establish our distillery, and then raising the financing to build everything as its not cheap. I suppose for me, the biggest challenge was branding and finding the right partners to work with. I have learned many lessons over the last year and, just like our amazing Gins, I have now found the perfect recipe for success.
How would you describe your gin in 3 words?
Unique, smooth and contemporary
What's your favourite way to drink your gin?
Personally, I don’t drink tonic (although in a pinch Fever-Tree is the one I go for). I am 100% a Gin ’n' juice type of guy and prefer fresh orange juice in my cocktails.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
Bombay Sapphire Gin is always a staple in the house but I really did enjoy the collaboration between Herno and Four Pillars. It was great. I could drink that every day. When I am in the US, I always look for Philadelphia Distillery Blue Coat which is a wonderful citrus-forward American Dry Gin
What's next for Afterthought Spirits - any exciting plans?
We have worked on multiple deals over the last few months and will be exporting to 20 countries including USA, Canada, Brazil, India, Australia and a few countries in Europe in 2020. We are also branching into other spirits this year and are planning to build a second distillery in the US in 2021.