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Shipyard Gin docks at El Santo and Christens

Shipyard gin
Shipyard Gin: collaboration

Worq Hospitality, the renowned Scottish hospitality venture which operates numerous high-end brands spanning both sides of the Border, including El Santo Latin American Bar & Restaurant in Glasgow’s Merchant City, has established an exciting new collaboration with one of Scotland’s up-and-coming gin brands.

The brainchild of Glaswegian wedding filmmaker, Andy Samuel, Shipyard Gin is now available across several of Worq Hospitality properties including El Santo, 55 Bearsden Cross, and Riva Boutique Hotel in Helensburgh.

An expertly crafted classic London dry gin distilled in Scotland, award winning Shipyard Gin has perfumed citrusy aromas of orange, lemon, lime. The palate is dominated by citrus, herbaceous flavours, and floral notes like gorse and elderflower, well-balanced with alcoholic warmth.

With a long held aspiration to formulate his own distinctive gin, Mr Samuel wanted to pay homage to the rich tapestry of Scottish shipbuilding, particularly in the West of Scotland. The pandemic proved to be a catalyst for his ambitions, with his newfound free time providing him with the perfect opportunity to turn his long-cherished dream into a reality.

“My vision was to create a high quality, exceptional gin brand that celebrates success and resilience, rather than decline,” he said. “My grandfather’s tenure as a plater at Scotts Shipbuilding in Greenock, together with my firsthand experiences in the 1990s, witnessing the industry’s decline and its devastating impact on the community, fuelled my desire.

“The closure of the shipyards set many shipbuilding areas into a downward trajectory, a spiral they have been struggling to reverse ever since.

“The goal with Shipyard Gin was not just to commemorate history, but to actively contribute to the revival of these areas by creating a successful brand that creates jobs.

“Ultimately, a longer term aim with the business is to attract visitors through a distillery & heritage centre, something of a tourist destination that will include event space and a tasting room, all while celebrating our proud past as world class shipbuilders.

“We are delighted that we are launching internationally into the USA market in March.”

Bespoke cocktail

Having spent December working behind the bar at El Santito, El Santo’s hidden premium speakeasy cocktail bar, to gain valuable hands on experience of what customers are looking for and enjoy in a cocktail, Mr Samuel has curated a bespoke Shipyard Gin cocktail called Pineapple Mint Fizz, exclusively for the venue.

Containing pineapple, which is indigenous to South America, it will be on the menu at El Santito, which showcases a number of leading spirits brands including Patron Tequila, in its drinks range, until the end of February.

He said: “As our business embarks on a pivotal stage, we aim to captivate the American market with our unique, artisan gin.  I would like to thank Worq Hospitality for their support and endorsement of our brand.

“Their decision to feature our gin across various venues has undeniably been a driving force in enhancing our brand visibility over the past two years. As we continue to broaden our horizons, we are committed to reinforcing our partnership with Worq Hospitality and intensifying our distribution within the UK market

“Consumers can also get their hands on Shipyard Gin through our website.”

Hands on experience

Mr Samuel explained that having come to crafting gin from being a filmmaker, he felt it was important to gain hands on experience in the licensed trade, particularly engaging with customers behind the bar.

“Shipyard Gin is a personal journey for me of learning and growth – it’s not just about the brand,” he said. “My work experience at El Santo embraced the less glamorous, yet crucial aspects of building a startup drinks brand. As well as enjoying chatting with punters, it’s given me invaluable insight into the trade sector. These skills will significantly influence the development of our next gin creations.”

He said it had been “his pleasure” to create the unique cocktail for El Santo.

Jonathan Doherty, managing director of Worq Hospitality passed on his good wishes to Shipyard Gin.

“Our thanks go to Andy for creating this amazing cocktail for us,” he said. “Building partnerships with both new and established drink brands is what we’re all about here at Worq Hospitality, especially when the brand is local and as good as Shipyard Gin.”

“Andy’s story, on giving back to the community, is certainly an inspiring one that resonates with us. We wish him lots of luck as Shipyard Gin looks to attract American tastebuds.”

“On a final note, he is welcome behind our bar anytime!” 

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