Working to develop the botanical profile for Declaration Gin, with the brand’s founders at Declaration Drinks, is a prime example of what’s at the heart of our custom branded spirits service – how we take a concept for a drink and bring it to life. Inspired by ex-England cricket captain Michael Vaughan’s love of both cricket and gin, the brief for Declaration Gin was to create a dry gin that celebrated some of the great cricketing nations of the world, but would also stand on its own two feet, declaring itself as a premium gin in its own right.
Rachael at Declaration HQ has shared the story behind the gin, the foundation of Declaration Drinks, and her thoughts about working with In the Welsh Wind to create Declaration Gin.
What’s your story?
At the heart of Declaration Drinks, we’re a group of friends who share a love of gin and began to consider what our own gin might look and taste like, and what its story would be. As we talked it over, over several shared gin and tonics around the kitchen table, the idea crystalised and we decided to create our own gin brand. However, it was important to Michael, the team and to the integrity of the gin that we were all part of the whole creation process.
How did you discover In The Welsh Wind?
Once we had decided that we would go for it, we started to investigate how we could create our gin and where we could get it distilled. We knew we wanted something different, and to work with a distillery team that really cared about their craft but that would also listen to our story, to create us a truly bespoke gin. In the Welsh Wind came up in an internet search and we were drawn to the idea of working with these ‘maverick’ distillers out in West Wales. I called the distillery up that afternoon and had a long chat with Alex. Hearing him describe the distillery and the process they would lead us through to discover our gin really inspired us.
Which of In the Welsh Wind’s services have you used?
We spent a day with Alex and Ellen at the distillery, recipe testing and tweaking to make sure we got it absolutely right. We wanted a statement gin that would represent places where Michael had spent some of his most memorable times as a cricketer, but that would also stand on its own feet in the premium gin market. We knew we wanted to include Darjeeling tea, and Alex helped us to source this, along with ginger from Australia and liquorice root from Yorkshire. Declaration gin continues to be distilled and bottled by In the Welsh Wind.
Any key/stand out moments/funny stories from the development phase?
There’s no one moment that stands out – the gin discovery day was great. We felt we played a real part in the whole process, yet it was super-easy. Alex’s knowledge and experience, as well as his willingness to listen to what we wanted, meant we could tweak our recipe until we were all completely happy with it.
What 1 piece of advice would you give others who are considering setting up a spirits brand?
It’s critical to make sure you are working with the right people – a team who are problem solvers but who also take the time to understand your vision and who will help you realise it.
Declaration Gin – The Lowdown
Brand Name: Declaration Dry Gin
Brand Owners: Declaration Drinks
Distilled Since: 2019
In the Welsh Wind Services: Recipe Development; Ongoing production (distillation and bottling)
Buy Declaration Gin: online and from Selfridges. Declaration Gin is also available at the Luxury family Hotel Group; Dakota Hotels; Gaucho and The Stafford London