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Virtual Gin Tasting Programme Saturday 23rd March 2024

Meet-the-Makers Virtually on Saturday 23rd March 6pm - 8.30pm

Virtual Gin Tasting March 2024


We are delighted to be bringing you a Virtual Tasting EVERY MONTH and the line up for March is another very exciting one indeed as we are  joined by Inventor’s Gin, Puddingstone Distillery (Campfire Gin), Steeplechase Distillery, Tayport Distillery & Wither’s G1 Gin. You can take part at home, either LIVE on Saturday 23rd March 6pm -8.30pm, or watch at your own pace with the recording.

As always, we’ve united a real mix of of talent as part of this month’s virtual gin tasting – showcasing a range of unique inspirations, botanicals, localities and distilling styles – as we take you on another uniquely spirited adventure.

Hosted by The Gin To My Tonic, each distillery / creator will open their doors LIVE and share their story to date, tasting notes, and perfect serves, entwined with distillery tours, gin making, cocktail making and fascinating gin trivia to enrich your own personal journey of gin discovery.


If you love our virtual gin tastings as much as we do then make sure you keep Saturday 20th April 6pm – 8.30pm free as we are joined by 793 Spirits, Basalt Distillery, Cascade Gin, Igneous Distillery & Symphonia Spirits.

Artisan Bottleshot

The Gin To My Tonic Perfect Serves 

This year we are delighted to have partnered with Artisan Drinks Co. Please find below our recommended perfect serves. Please note, these are only our recommendations and if you have spare tonic at home and wish to swap our suggestions with something of your own you are more than welcome to do so.

Puddingstone Campfire Old Tom Gin with Artisan Agave Lemon Tonic garnished with a slice of Lime.

Wither’s G1 Gin with Artisan Skinny London Tonic garnished with Pink Grapefruit

Tayport Scots Pine Gin with Artisan Classic London Tonic garnished with Orange.

Inventors Gin with Artisan Ginger Beer garnished with Berries.

Steeplechase Frodon English Garden Gin with Artisan Classic London Tonic  garnished with Apple.

Spirits That Begin With Nature - Tayport Distillery

Scots Pine Bottles

Tayport Distillery is a family owned distillery. Founded by Kecia McDougall, she was quickly joined by the rest of her family including children Mary & Alasdair and Husband Duncan.

Located in Fife they are blessed with a microclimate and fertile soils, allowing the finest fruits and berries to be grown. By arranging to collect from local farms they get the ripest and most flavoursome ingredients for their spirits. At the same time, going direct to the producer reduces their carbon footprint and helps their sustainability mission. They also return their waste to a local biogas plant and this is processed into gas which feeds back into the local community.

Tayport Distillery’s Scots Pine Gin is a tribute to Scotland’s rugged landscapes. Infused with the essence of Scots pine needles and other carefully selected botanicals, it boasts a distinctive piney aroma and a harmonious, earthy flavor profile. Each sip encapsulates the wilderness and craftsmanship of Scotland’s pristine forests.

Scots Pine Tayport

What is your favourite product and why?

Tayport Distillery produce a range of spirits including Vodka, Gin and Liqueurs. Personally, my favourite product is our Malt Barley Vodka and Mum’s is the Raspberry Liqueur. If we had to choose between our gins, I think it would also be a 50/50 split (haha) as Mum designed and created the Wild Rose Gin, but I think we have all collectively agreed the Scots Pine is more popular and is a more interesting gin to taste! This is because of the complexity within the gin, lots of tasters will talk about gins being three dimensional and this gin is definitely that so there is more of an experience for the customer when trying it.

Scots Pine Bottles

How long did it take you to finalise your Scots Pine Gin recipe?

The Scots Pine Gin took 6 attempts over the course of about 3-4 months to perfect. Alasdair was new to the business, Mum had just finished training him and we decided to task him with making our next gin. We said to keep in mind trending botanicals and try to keep it as locally inspired as possible. Well, Alasdair being a millennial through and through looked at the closest Starbucks for inspiration and tried to create a ‘Pumpkin Spiced Gin’. We initially thought ok, pumpkins do grow in the area maybe we could make this into something trendy…. but we were wrong. He gave that 3 attempts before we convinced him to move on. Lots of people had suggested pine as a potential botanical, so we tried that out – went through our method of blending to get a vague idea of how we might want to it come out and then developed the recipe from that point. Mum was very annoyed because this was Alasdair’s first gin, and it ended up winning higher awards than hers! It was safe to say he passed the test!

Scots Pine Harvest

What inspired you to start making gin and what do you love about distillation?

Everyone in the family is a massive foodie, we love cooking – Mum gave us free rein as children, I loved to bake and Alasdair can cook up some pretty incredible savoury dishes. So I would say that flavour is what drew us into the gin business. Mum has always been adamant about creating products using local produce, she loves the idea of picking up delicious food from the market and creating a great dish that evening, not that she gets a lot of time to do that now! That is how the business began, creating spirits using local fruit and grain and it grew arms and legs from that point. Something we also discovered during this process is how much botanical flavours change when distilled. We have ironed out the majority of our recipes now but every day is a school day in the distillery, if the botanicals have come from a different supplier they might turn out different in the still so you have to have your wits about you when distilling.

We did not start with Gin, we actually began with Eau de Vie which is a fruit based product. It wasn’t until a local charity approached us to make a gin for them, combined with the COVID pandemic that we moved into the gin world. So I would say it came around by circumstance and we are very grateful it did because it really kept us in the game during the pandemic!

A Gin Inspired By Remembrance - Withers Gin

Withers Gin Leaves

Withers Gin was founded by Sarah Withers in 2020, with G1 being the first gin to be released.

Amongst the classic botanicals you will find heartsease flower (edible pansy). This natural aroma highlights the complex flavours within the gin and offers citrus, peppery, delicately floral and soft, sweet flavours. But why the heartsease in particular? This was inspired by Sarah’s late Mum, Chrissy, who spent much of her time painting wild flowers, her favourite of which was the heartsease. Sadly, Chrissy died in 2000 from a sudden heart attack. The bottle is decorated with the silhouette of one of her paintings, meaning that Chrissy’s memory lives on in each bottle of the G1 Gin.

G1 Gin’s main feature is the Heartsease flower, which alongside a good punch of juniper, a zing of pink grapefruit zest and a veritable support act of 5 other botanicals (coriander, orris, angelica, cassia & green cardamom), results in a London Dry Gin packed with flavour.

G1 Bottle Shot

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

The biggest challenges for us so far have been the rising costs in our industry and juggling all the different workflows within such a small team. Starting production two months before a global pandemic was less than ideal, but ironically played to our strengths as we had a very healthy social media presence, giving us an early advantage. Inflation has been a major issue, with spiralling costs of bottles, cardboard, transport, fuel, and energy, finding smart ways to overcome these challenges without having to reflect on increased pricing is a regular conundrum. On top of that, there has been the recent rise in alcohol duty…

The wide-ranging knowledge and different hats required to keep a gin business and distillery running effectively has been a constant challenge. Juggling production schedules with a heavy event schedule, including over 156 events and shows last year, as well as handling strategy, procurement, product development, design, marketing, administration, licensing, logistics, and more has certainly kept us on our toes.

And let’s not forget the physical challenges – gin is really heavy! One of our favorite event locations is on a hill with a squillion steps… we always find a way to make it work, keep smiling and keep the gin flowing even if this year I spent a good deal of the event on crutches!

G1 Bottling

Do you have a favourite product? 

Asking me to choose my favourite product is like asking someone to pick their favourite child…

G1, our inaugural gin, holds a special place in my heart as it was inspired by my Mum and has an incredible back a tory and provenance. Then there’s GForce, a gin I hold dear as it is pays homage to my Dad, my hero, and the catalyst behind the inception of Withers Gin. Dad’s battle with pancreatic cancer and the exceptional support we received from Macmillan spurred us to give back, leading to our commitment to donate at least 10% of our profits to cancer charities. GForce soared to popularity in 2023, buoyed by our presence at prestigious air shows and the story of Dad’s gin.

This year, a new favorite of mine is emerging, one that truly encapsulates the spirit of craft gin and conveys significant messages that I’m eager to unveil. Stay tuned on our social media for the latest updates and be on the lookout for our pre-order launch in early April and the release date on St George’s Day (23rd April).

G1 Cocktail

What is your favourite cocktail with G1 Gin and how do you make it?

My go-to cocktail with G1 gin has to be a classic Martini. It holds a special place for me, particularly because my initial encounter with it was at The American Bar at The Savoy, which was the first place to ever stock G1 Gin. I’ll never forget how Maxim Schulte, the Head Bartender there, crafted the Martini with such skill. It was a stark contrast to the ones my dad used to make at home, which, were very potent and lacked a refined touch.

Maxim shared some wisdom on the art of Martini-making. It all hinges on the temperature; both the glass and the liquid need to be chilled to perfection. It’s not just about the chill, though. When you sip a Martini, you should let it linger in your mouth briefly. This allows the cold to subside slightly, awakening the gin’s botanicals on your palate.

When I make my Martini, I prefer to give it a good shake, though whether to stir or shake is a matter of personal preference. Both methods provide a necessary bit of dilution. I follow Maxim’s advice and use a 2:1 ratio of gin to dry vermouth, with a dash of orange bitters for complexity. I garnish with a lemon zest, making sure to express the oils over the glass before letting it float in the drink.. And then I make sure to add one final touch – fine straining to ensure not a single fragment of ice makes its way into the glass. It’s these little details that transform the simple act of making a drink into the craft of cocktail artistry..

The Spirit of the Outdoors - Puddingstone Distillery

Campfire Bottles

Take two kindred spirits, a myriad of sensory experiences absorbed from travels to countries near and far, throw in a realisation that good gin can be enjoyed equally as well outside under the stars as it can at the bar, and you have the creation of Campfire Gin. Ben & Kate Marston, Founders of Puddingstone Distillery and Campfire Gin have enjoyed some of their favourite Gin & Tonics around a campfire, a creative ‘marketing man’ and equally creative ‘graphics girl’ did their Brewers & Distillers exam and took a leap into the world of spirits!

Ben and Kate wanted to make sure the products they were producing had a mindfulness of community and environment at the heart of every bottle. Distilling using a multi-shot method meaning they cut down on energy and water usage. They also offer gin refills, meaning not as many glass bottles need to be made for sale purposes, this carries an environmental bonus as well as a saving on the bottle price for the customer too!

In considering how an 18th century rural distiller might approach the creation of an ‘Old Tom’ style gin, Puddingstone have married a unique botanical selection with pot distillation and compounding processes to deliver notes of spice, juniper and citrus with a hint of colour and sweetness without the use of sugar. Botanicals include juniper, malted barley, cardamom, cinnamon, angelica root, chamomile, fresh lemon peel & coriander seed.

Campfire Stills

What is your perfect serve?

One of the most popular serves for Campfire Old Tom Gin is with Lemon Tonic. We wouldn’t usually pair our gins with Lemonade but for those that aren’t keen on tonic, it does work.

The four-strong Campfire Gin range are superb G&T gins when served with Indian Tonic. However we prefer a 2:1 ratio 100ml tonic to 50ml gin! We use fresh lemon peel in the botanical recipe for Campfire Old Tom Gin but always garnish with a fresh lime wheel. The sweeter notes of the lime complement the sweeter notes of the gin which are obtained through a touch of cinnamon, malted barley and chamomile.

Campfire Old Tom

What do you love about gin and distilling?

We love developing the Campfire Gin range and our special edition gins to stay true to the gin category with juniper leading but the fun comes when combining the juniper with other botanicals to create new pairings. We love a challenge and our gin collaborations with local conservation charities and other local businesses certainly manage to do just that. We currently have Ultrasonic Gin – a collaboration with the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust who challenged us to theme a gin around bats! To do this Ben decided to pre-treat the botanicals with ultrasound. This means we extract more oils prior to distilling. The result being we can use 40% less botanicals that we usually would just by maceration alone. £2 from every bottle goes back to the Wildlife Trust.

Our other current conservation gin collaboration is with The Box Moor Trust, the oldest conservation trust at 430 years old. On their estate just 13 miles from the distillery they have some vary rare juniper plants which they allow us to harvest and incorporate into a gin recipe of five botanicals – local juniper, British angelica root, British coriander seed, fresh lime and orris root powder. We’ve used lime as nod to Rose’s Lime Juice who was once based on the Box Moor estate and used the Grand Union Canal to transport barrels of fresh lime juice. Again £2 from every bottle sold is donated back to the Trust.

Campfire Bottles

Would you ever consider developing a Rum or Vodka?

Ahh well that would be telling!

Drawing on Horse Racing’s Most Prestigious Races - Steeplechase Gin

Adam Steeplechase

Steeped in over 250 years of Horse Racing tradition, Steeplechase Gin is an equine inspired traditional gin. Set in the heart of Cheltenham, Founder and Owner Adam wanted to make a gin that was synonymous with his Gloucestershire surroundings.

Having spent most of his adult life as a Chemistry Teacher, Adam had a good understanding of what it it took to make gin. He also had a passion for top quality spirits. Amidst lockdown 2020, when the nation relied on gin, he wanted to experiment with gin himself. He obtained the necessary licenses, got a 2.5litre still and began the process!

He began to develop flavour profiles that centred around a key theme, Horse Racing. Drawing on Horse racing’s most historic winners and prestigious races to produce gins that encapsulate the heart and spirit of the sport. Due to his location and affinity for the area, alongside Cheltenham’s rich history as one of the sports most renowned venues, Adam felt this was the ideal brand idea.

To celebrate Women’s History Month Steeplechase have created a very special gin, voted Best English Contemporary Gin. It’s inspired by the First Female Jockey to win a Grade 1 race at the Cheltenham Festival, and the horse she rode for that King George VI Win in 2020. The incredible duo of Bryony Frost and Frodon are the perfect pair to commemorate. An exceptionally smooth and dry gin with juniper prominence. A crisp, herbaceous flavour running through from fresh spruce, rosemary, sage and thyme. Intertwined with fresh green apple.

Frodon Gin

Would you ever consider experimenting with other spirits such as Rum?

I have contemplated starting a rum several times over the last 18 months, however due to our current scale it wouldn’t be financially viable to do so. The other thing that deters me currently is the current surge in British produced rums. The market for craft rum in this country is becoming quite popular, and I would like to see how things develop before committing to producing a rum. The other spirit we have considered in recent times is a non-alcoholic ‘Gin’ and is most likely our next research and development route.

Steeplechase London Dry

How long did it take you to finalise your Frodon Garden Gin Recipe?

Frodon as a gin was an idea I had for about 6 months before release. Herbaceous gins are a style I personally love and wanted to explore. Frodon was the sixth gin we launched and was initially planned as a limited release spring-summer gin launched in March each year for Women’s History Month. The gin pays homage to Bryony Frost, the first female Jockey to win a grade 1 race at the Cheltenham Festival,  and her horse Frodon. Frodon is one of my favourite horses of the modern era and it felt fitting to name a gin after this phenomenal pairing.

The gin itself has a relatively high juniper content to come through the depth of flavour from the herbaceous notes. We use entirely fresh herbs in this gin with the recipe centred around rosemary, sage, thyme, and our signature botanical spruce. Fresh green apple provides lighter, sweeter notes to the gin. In producing this gin, the most important part was getting the balance of the herbs right so that they are all present and evident in the palate without overpowering each other, or any of the other botanicals.

Steeplechase Botanicals

Which is your favourite gin to make and why?

The first recipe I conceived from our range was Kauto, our contemporary dry gin. When I started my distilling journey it was a recipe that I thought would work, and completely concocted in my head. As a more contemporary gin, with some prominent flavours, looking for balance in the profile was essential to me. With kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass providing deep, earthy citrus notes, pink peppercorns and ginger giving a robust spice to the palate, and evident floral notes of lavender and heather, this gin is my favourite of the range. I don’t think there is another gin like it on the market. We get a beautiful smoothness to the gin, and it is the most versatile to use in cocktails.

Tinkerer, Shed Inventor & Distiller - Inventor's Gin

Inventors Gin

Overlooking the Ayrshire Coast from Arran to Ailsa Craig, the Inventors Gin Co Ltd, is a Husband and Wife team drawing their inspiration from the land and sea fused with Scotland’s rich history of world changing inventions and discoveries.

Steven, Co-Founder of Inventor’s Gin often wonders if he should have been born in the Victorian era! There is no other explanation for his lifelong fascination with shiny brass, swooping copper pipework, and the thundering great machinery which powered the world into the industrial revolution. Inspired by Scottish contributions to the Industrial Revolution, but equally the breath-taking, rugged and ancient landscape they live in, they crafted a traditional juniper based gin. Ayrshire nettle and heather root evoke the spirit of the landscape, while the smoked pink pepper & red chilli stokes the fire of your soul.

The traditional gin-gredients are blended and infused in a  ‘bathtub’ process, before being slowly distilled in a copper pot still. They distill in small batches, with each batch having slightly different characteristics. To celebrate these subtleties, each bottle is numbered by hand.

Inventors Bottle

What made you want to start a distillery?

A bad day at work! I’ve always been a tinkerer and ‘shed inventor’ but I’ve never made anything useful – just ask my wife, Andrea. Late 2018, early Friday evening, Andrea was already home from work, and pouring a couple of gins as I walked in the door. Staring at the gin in the glass, a particularly crazy idea came to mind – I could make gin!!

The idea rolled around and gathered pace. Not long after the initial light bulb moment, Andrea announced she was going away with the girls for a lovely relaxing spa weekend. Rubbing my hands in a mad scientist style, the stage was set.

We have a 30-odd year old pressure cooker in the house, but thinking it might be of religious or cultural significance, didn’t dare touch it – so I bought a brand new one to make into a still. Using scrap parts from the junk box at work, and stuff off the internet where suitable junk was unavailable, I turned the new pressure cooker into a working 7 litre still. Taking pride of place, the shiny new creation was sitting on top of the cooker for Andrea’s return on Sunday.

Conversation went along the lines of – ‘why didn’t you use the scabby old one?!’ etc etc. once I’d explained it was a still, and we were going to make gin (which would need somebody to test) – I was forgiven and our gin journey began. We have been a home based Husband & Wife Gin team ever since.

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Do you have any exciting plans for 2024?

We have signed up for more Gin To My Tonic events covering Dumfries, Newcastle and a much anticipated return to Glasgow! We are also trying new local markets out in different areas, still relatively local, but expanding. In an ideal world, I would also like to invent a bottle washing machine to make that part less time consuming!

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Can you tell us about any new products in the pipeline?

We are working on lots of exciting new releases including ready mixed cocktails such as the Bramble and Ginaretto. We are also working on a new gin recipe inspired by local land with a flavour focus on nettles and healthier. We also want to develop a coastal gin inspired by the sea – incorporating seaweed and other savoury flavours.

Come and See Us!

Birmingham 23rd March 2024
Reading 20th April 2024
Manchester 26th-27th April 2024
Shrewsbury 27th April 2024
Swansea 4th May 2024
Aylesbury 4th May 2024
Nottingham 18th May 2024
Faringdon (Oxfordshire) 7th-9th June 2024
Dumfries 14th-15th June 2024
Bury St Edmonds 15th June 2024
Newcastle 22nd June 2024
London 5th-6th July 2024
Christchurch 13th July 2024
Salisbury 13th July 2024
Truro 20th July 2024
Cardiff 26th-27th July 2024
Perth 16th-17th August 2024
Swindon 6th-7th September 2024
Winchester 14th September 2024
Selby 21st September 2024
Ipswich 21st September 2024
Dublin 4th-6th October 2024
Bournemouth 12th October 2024
Bristol 12th October 2024
Glasgow (Autumn) 25th-27th October 2024
Aberdeen 15th-17th November 2024
Brighton & Hove 30th November 2024
Bexhill-on-Sea 30th November 2024
Chester 7th December 2024
Buxton 7th December 2024
Cheltenham 14th December 2024
Sheffield 8th February 2025
Edinburgh 28th February – 1st March 2025
Liverpool 8th March 2025
Glasgow (Spring) 28th-30th March 2025

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