Key export deal for distiller
Gin founder marks family link to Cunard
Craft gin distiller Pickering’s has launched a collection of gins for luxury liner company Cunard, marking the largest ever export order for the distillery.
The new line also rekindles a family connection between the shipping line and one of the distillery’s founders.
Based at Summerhall in Edinburgh, Pickering’s has created three expressions exclusively for the luxury line’s three ships – the Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth.
The Queen Victoria – which sets sail on its first voyage around the Mediterranean today – has been installed with the first draft gin tap at sea serving Queen Victoria Gin. This follows a £34 million refit of the ship.
The launch is a lifelong dream of the distillery’s co-founder Marcus Pickering, whose great-uncle, Captain George Gibbons sailed as captain of Cunard White Star liners from 1909-1944. These ships included: Majestic, Aquitania (“The Ship Beautiful”) and the legendary transatlantic liner the Queen Mary in 1936.
Mr Pickering said: “Working with Cunard is a dream of mine and the ability for small companies like ours to work with a globally recognised cruise brand has been a revelation.
“It is proof that it is possible for David to play nicely with Goliath in such uncertain times, and deals like this really help to secure the future of our business.
“Being a small part of Cunard has delighted my family. I might not be steering the ship, but at least I can lubricate its passengers!”
Matt Gammell, the distillery’s other founder and head distiller, set about creating three unique London Dry Gins, each expressing the routes that each of the three Queens sail.
Working closely with a team from Cunard, who visited the distillery in March, the distillery has created three distinctive gins celebrating the itinerary routes most associated with of each ship.
He said: “As a distiller, I wanted to turn Cunard’s vision of three distinct flavour profiles into reality.
“Each of the 3 Queens Gins contains an array of remarkable botanicals like lemon myrtle, chrysanthemum and sweet cherry that really evoke the legacy of the ships. It was a proud moment when we received such positive feedback from the team at Cunard.”
Edward Dieusaert, beverage services manager at Cunard said: “I am delighted by results of our collaboration with Pickering’s. We are committed to offering our guests unique experiences on every voyage and these hand-crafted 3 Queens Gins encapsulate that commitment and our total passion for excellence.”
Each of the 3 Queens Gins are now available to guests on-board Cunard ships, and a limited quantity from future batches will be released exclusively for Pickering’s #Ginfriends subscribers later in the summer.