The Perfect G&T
Sometimes the perks of being host of "On the Job" are really quite nice. This time, I was with Rachel Tyrell, talking with her about her artisanal gin company, Cricketer's Gin. I went to meet her at an event held at the Wendy House in Bray (see my post about Wendy here: https://www.aplusphotography.co.uk/post/the-door-reopens-at-the-wendy-house) to talk to her about her gin. Below is an excerpt from our chat.
Andrea: I am on the job today with Rachel Tyrell. How are you and who are you Rachel?
Rachel: Hello lovely to have you here On the Job with Cricketer's Gin at this lovely summer event at Wendy house. I'm a gin producer. I live in Pinkneys Green. That was the inspiration for the gin. We're very involved with the cricket club there and on the green, Some botanicals that grow on the green that we have included in our gin. I had been into my gin for quite a number of years, and then I started getting more and more interested in the different botanicals and how they affect the taste of the gin. And that was basically the beginning of the journey. Andrea: When did this all start? Rachel: So this was, oh, probably five years ago. I started attending gin events with my father. We launched the business together. And then living where we are with the cricket club, we sort of, one summer watching a game, cricket, sipping a gin and tonic. And we said, wouldn't it be lovely to have a cricket as gin? Cause there was no cricketer's gin. So as a little bit of a nod to the quintessential game of croquette and then also the lovely Berkshire countryside. Andrea: Lovely. I mean, it makes sense because I certainly have a gin and tonic if I go and watch any cricket, local or the ashes or whatever, so, yeah, that's perfect. Tell me What did you have to do? What was the process? Rachel: So it's not as glamorous as it sounds coming up with the gin recipe, it actually took about six months. Lots of research and all the various botanicals. and then you're testing all of those botanicals. Then deciding which ones that you would like to include, but then also testing which botanical goes with, which, and then when you finally got that worked out it's the ratios as well. Sometimes quite frustrating because you would make up and then obviously you would have to let it sit for a bit and then you would taste it, realize you put too much of one botanical in and not enough of another. So yeah, it was about six months, six months to develop the recipe. Andrea: When was the first official bottle of Cricketer's Gin? Rachel: We launched in November, 2019, we had a great response locally, and from hospitality, local stockists, local customers. We had a great Christmas quiet January as expected, Andrea: Yeah dry January
Rachel: We picked up a little bit in February and then Hey, pandemic in March. Andrea: So how did that affect it? Did sales decrease or increase? I know which one I'm guessing. I'm guessing the increase.
Rachel: Well we didn't have anything to compare it to, obviously from the previous year, I think because we had events and various things planned, which we then couldn't go ahead and do. And our focus back then was to have our products stocked in pubs and restaurants. So obviously that all closed down. So we shifted our focus to online. we did have a website, but just a little bit more shifted that to online, direct to the customer. We then developed miniatures and then we had lots of people asking about, do you have a pink gin? Cause that was very on trend. So we then distilled our gin with raspberries and then we developed the pink gin.
Andrea: Oh, and how's it been going so far then? Rachel: Good. We've got lots of followers. probably one of the biggest things that we've been since the beginning or about six months ago is we're involved in lots of local produce markets. Farmer's markets, produce markets. and we're finding since this has all happened, people want to go to those markets. They want to support small business. They want to buy local produce. So actually we're doing really well at that. And we hadn't imagined that beforehand. So that is a sector of our business that actually is really growing. And we are building lots of loyal customers. They will come back at the monthly farmer's markets and say, "oh, months gone past, I've gone through, I need another bottle of gin". Andrea: And I guess if you do head back to the pubs, that's good. Because a lot of your clientele, if you're selling it locally, will recognize it already and possibly ask for it. Right? Rachel: We're in a few of the pubs like Pinkneys Arms. They're literally down the road from where we live. They've been great supporters of us since we launched got an amazing beer garden. So. they were in a good position compared to a lot of pubs in that they could open the outside. they've been great supporters. And then also we love it when people go into other pubs and restaurants and ask for our gin and it's not there. And then we get a phone call. Can we start your gin? So, yeah. Andrea: That's lovely. Brilliant. What's the plan? Is it world domination with gin? Is it Berkshire domination? Rachel: Well, we're coming into the summer. I think things are still getting back to normal. They're still not back to normal. I don't think yeah, the pubs were open. The restaurants were open, so we would like to get the product stopped in more places. we'd like to work with more sort of on the high street stockists as well. We have some events that have been postponed. Probably in the park. we're doing locally, the Gravity Grand Prix (in Cookham), so we're going to do more of those events that hopefully will go ahead. and then we'll be looking at the lead up to Christmas. We would like to launch another flavour gin in time for Christmas.
Andrea: What flavours? Rachel: Because we've got our Berry blush, which is the raspberries. We've got our London dry gin, which is very classic style gin. So we would like to do something with the spice for Christmas or Andrea: Looking forward to that!
You can listen to our entire interview where Rachel talks about those botanicals found Berkshire UK and also in her gin, and also hear if I was able to make a gin and tonic up to Rachel's exacting standards!
For Apple users, you can listen to the podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/on-the-job-aired-on-2021-06-29/id1573131577?i=1000527243750
Or you can listen directly on the River Radio website here: https://river.radio/on-the-job and go to the show that aired on 2021-06-29
If you are interested in trying some delicious Cricketer's Gin, you can go to their website: www.cricketersgin.com Remember to enjoy responsibly!
Photos: Rachel Tyrell with Cricketers Gin, the pink gin version, Andrea and Rachel enjoying the perfect G&T, gin miniatures.