Following last week’s International Wine & Spirits Competition, Nick Mosley talks to Kathy Caton of Brighton Gin about their monumental win.
Founded by Kathy Caton back in 2013, the first test batches of Brighton Gin were produced in her kitchen next door to the Lion and Lobster pub. After months of experimentation with different ingredients, distilling techniques and approaches, the recipe for the original Pavilion Strength 40% gin was finalised.
The core botanicals in Brighton Gin are juniper, locally grown coriander seeds, lime and orange peel, milk thistle and angelica which helps fix the aromas. The product is gluten free and also one of the few gins to be officially certified as vegan by the Vegan Society – and that includes the wax bottle seal and even the glue for the labelling.
From humble beginnings, Brighton Gin has grown into not only a local but also internationally recognised gin brand. It’s safe to say that the product has firmly established itself in the pantheon of Brighton icons, alongside the Palace Pier and a good old stick of Brighton rock.
Within the UK, you can find Brighton Gin on the shelves of bars, restaurants and stores countrywide – including Marks & Spencer. Internationally, gin lovers are discovering this craft-distilled spirit in Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands and Germany – and as far afield as Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Around four years ago, the team decided to up the ante by introducing a new product – a punchy 57% version of the original recipe sold as their Seaside navy strength gin.
It’s this gin that last week literally knocked the socks off a panel of expert judges at the annual International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) – the Oscars of the global drinks world that saw over 4,000 entries this year.
The IWSC judging panel were impressed by depth of flavours in the Seaside Strength gin: “Gorgeously light and fragrant on the nose with a juicy burst of fresh citrus on the palate. The beautifully blended botanicals open up like a summer flower to reveal glorious complexity and a delightfully long dry finish. A superb gin.”
Understandably, after a decade of hard work, Kathy is over-the-moon.
"We are beyond delighted to have received the Gold Outstanding trophy from the IWSC”, said Kathy.
“Out of the many thousands of entries and finalists, only 22 Gold Outstanding awards were given. For our Seaside Strength, we received an incredible 98 out of a 100 from a panel of judges consisting of some of the most respected experts in the industry”.
“After the many trials and tribulations of the past couple of years, this level of recognition has been an amazing boost for the gin cave team”.
“Every bottle of Brighton Gin is made by hand by our team with genuine love and passion - we are all so proud of the Spirit of Brighton”.