Craft gin distiller Pickering’s Gin has launched a unique collection of gins for luxury liner company Cunard, marking the largest ever export order for the small central Edinburgh distillery.
Based at Summerhall Distillery in Edinburgh, Pickering’s Gin has created three new unique expressions exclusively for the luxury line’s three ships – the Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth.
From this small distillery in Edinburgh the gin has travelled to the high seas, with Marcus Pickering forming a partnership with a FTSE 100 in a year where Pickering’s Gin is undergoing massive growth hoping to quadruple its annual turnover.
To coincide with the £34 million refit of the Queen Victoria – which sets sail on its first voyage around the Mediterranean today – the ship has been installed with the very first draft gin tap at sea serving Queen Victoria Gin.
The launch is a lifelong dream of the distillery’s co-founder Marcus, whose great-uncle, Captain George Gibbons CBE RD RNR, 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.
Marcus 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.
Matt added: “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”.