When did your ‘ginspiration’ first hit?
Drinking Gin or Genever, is something that goes back much longer before the actual inception of 1689 Gin. My late grandfather used to slip me a tiny glass of Jenever after dinner when we would visit them as teenagers (it would always really upset my grandmother), but that is the moment where my love for distilled drinks began! Thanks Grandpa!
What was it like to go from inception to production?
It has been a really interesting experience as it is so rewarding to see after all the time and effort we put into researching the history, creating the bottle and branding, tasting the product (so many times!) to eventually our product being sold internationally and reaching so many people! We love to share the history of Gin making and how it found its way into people's gin and tonic and cocktails!
Are there parts of the journey you remember most, and do you have an outstanding ‘pinch me’ moment?
The first Gin Event we did in Amsterdam and launched the product back in 2018. We were definitely "green" in the industry and every sense of the word, but we got so many positive reviews and many guests returning to our booth at the end of the day, mentioning how they really loved our gin most out of all the gin brands present.
How close do you think you are to the original recipe? What are the key differences & when did you know you’d nailed it?
It is really difficult to say, as it is impossible to know and understand how they enjoyed this recipe back in the day, what distilling techniques they used, the quality of the ingredients and so forth. However, our aim was to recreate an old classic in a fresh new contemporary London Dry-style jacket. What I really like about the gin is that it is as smooth as can be, whilst still packing a powerful junipery punch, zesty citrus and a warm-spiced finish.
What is your perfect night out?
Definitely after a long, intense week of work, unwinding with friends, al-fresco dining or a nice summer BBQ! This forms the basis for a night out on the town, where we love to visit quaint speak-easys or nice hotel bars before going to the club till the early morning!
What is your favourite way to enjoy your gin – a cocktail or a particular G&T garnish combo perhaps?
So difficult to answer as it really depends on the season, my mood and the people around me. My favorite cocktail definitely is a Negroni - I could drink those all day! Favorite Gin and Tonic combination is just simple with a slice of orange and a mediteranean style tonic!
What does it mean to you to be a Dutch gin brand?
Well there obviously is some pride in our Dutch heritage, but to me it means so much more. The Dutch have always been really externally focused and have a strong entrepreneurial drive. The journey we made from our home in the Netherlands to currently loving life in the UK is something which symbolises that as well, and is embodied in our gin, an anglo-dutch piece of shared history best enjoyed in a glass with lots of ice!
What is your favourite gin fact?
Did you know that the juniper berry is actually a diuretic (it helps you flush your kidneys, stomach, liver) and in healthy proportions keeps your body healthy!!
What’s the next big milestone you are working towards?
Our aim is not to sell as many bottles as possible, for us, it is all about sharing the (hi)story, discovering cool new unknown facts about distilling and gin-making and educating future generations!
If you could share a gin cocktail - with anyone dead or alive, real or created - who would it be?
Definitely "Jacob van Maerlant" who wrote "Der Naturen Bloeme" back in 1350, he used to write about the medicinal effects of Juniper for the first time in history. Would love to whip him up a nice cocktail and tell him about the way we enjoy Gin in the current day and age ("what wizardry is this, I hear him say")
The gin market is an ever changing landscape - where do you see it heading next?
I see that with the current ease of sharing knowledge and the consumer becoming ever more aware of their specific taste and quality of produce, it will become increasingly important to build on a strong brand story, make use of impeccable produce and focus on the true quality of the product.
And finally, what is one thing that bartenders and consumers alike should know about Gin 1689?
It is such a versatile gin, you can easily enjoy it neat (maybe on the rocks) as a sipping gin, add your favorite garnishes in a huge variety of gin and tonics, or mix it up in different cocktail styles!