What did you do before creating Vicars Gin?
Since becoming a mother to three young children I have worked in the craft industry running small businesses from home that were easy to fit in and around the commitments of home & school life. Most recently I had a small business printing promotional and recreational clothing for local businesses and my online store.
What is the story behind the name?
Vicars Gin is named in recognition of my Father, who has been a Vicar for over 50 years in and around the Diocese of Worcester… he’s also a bit partial to a free poured ‘double’ gin and tonic!
Can you tell us about the distillation process and botanicals?
I have been incredibly fortunate to have found a great distiller at Union Distillers who helped me bring my recipe to life. Vicars Gin is distilled using some of the oldest working copper gin stills in the UK. My long term goal is to grow and harvest the main botanicals used in my gin on our Family Estate. At the moment coriander is already grown and juniper has been planted this year. I have plans to plant Norwegian Angelica and Orris Root as well in the near future. Ideally I would like to successfully harvest enough botanicals, not only for my gin production, but also to supply other gin makers in and around the UK.
What have been the biggest challenges so far?
I guess I should be saying something along the lines of trying to set up a company within the current uncertainty of Brexit and not knowing how it’s going to affect the botanical supplies we need. However to be completely honest, my biggest challenge to date has been trying to find somewhere to store the initial hundreds of bottles of gin when they arrived without having a business premises to house them. My downstairs ensuite shower cubicle was packed to the top of the screen with boxes of gin which has definitely been a talking point when visitors needed the toilet!
What have been your biggest achievements so far?
My biggest achievement so far has been the extent of publicity The Vicar has received. To date we've been featured in The Times, The Telegraph, Country Life & The Drinks Business. I've also been interviewed on BBC Hereford and Worcester Radio (which was the scariest thing I've done since taking my driving test!) Then as if that's not enough we've been shortlisted for the Best Rural Start Up Business in the Midlands and have an awards ceremony to attend next month. This is all after starting the business in March!
How would you describe Vicars Gin in 3 words?
Fresh, fruity & smooth.
What's your favourite way to drink your gin?
With ice, tonic and a large slice of orange sat outside in the warmth of the sun in peace and quiet!
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
I always have a bottle of Tanqueray Gin as this was my Gran’s favourite drink and seeing the bottle always reminds me of her. Alongside that there’s normally a bottle of Opihr Gin as I love it’s spiciness.
What's next for Vicars Gin - any exciting plans?
Lots! We’ve got plans to turn a disused agricultural building into a work unit which means we’ll have a lot more space to come up with new recipes and have our own in-house drying facility, so not only will we be able to grow and harvest our own botanicals, but we’ll be able to dry them ourselves too which will preserve the botanicals’ flavour more and hopefully further enhance the taste of the gin.