Modernising the spirit of the Great Explorers
The Great Explorers were fearless pioneers of their time. They sailed the world to explore new territories and ideas that furthered our understanding of the world. But their discoveries often turned into exploitation. As descendants of that history, we know better than to oppress. Instead, we promote the world heritage by celebrating the diversity of world flavours and cultures while respecting their environment and communities, keeping sustainability at the core of everything we do.
We are the New Explorers, anchored at Greenwich Meridian, the centre of time and space, where East meets West. We’ll revive the spirit of adventure and curiosity that leads to new discoveries. Through our spirits we’ll share the stories that bring people together, stories of ocean travel and beautiful places, stories of people just like us. In our hearts, always respect and deference for those we meet and the places they inhabit.
Stories from around the world
Gonzalo is the explorer soul of Greenwich Gin. Beyond world travel, his journey is one of living and belonging to different communities around the world and gaining five nationalities. He shares some of his stories and adventures from the places and people he met along the way, featuring some of our extended family of suppliers and botanicals.
After a gin-making experience in a London distillery, I found myself isolated at home with a copper still and an alcohol rectification licence. I took advantage of lockdown to develop the recipe for Greenwich Gin from our East London home. This was a fun journey of curiosity and exploration, pairing dozens of British marine botanicals with dozens of world intriguing botanicals. My special connection with different parts of the world, their flavours and their people was the magic to bringing these flavours together in such harmony.
The Amazon rainforest is where our tonka beans are sourced from. My time in the Amazon was truly mystical, marked by stories of shamans, pink dolphins, piranhas, massive insects and cachaça. I spent most of the time in Brazil but it was very humanising that you could go through 3 different countries in a day without having to cross any borders or knowing in what country you actually were, because it didn’t matter! Although many countries share the Amazon, it is one rainforest and it felt like one single community in multiple countries with different languages.
Gerard forages our balsam fir tips and has a great story to tell: We live as much as possible with what the Earth gives us, we raise our own livestock, produce our own dairy products, and cultivate our own vegetable garden. We want to raise our children with nature in order to open their eyes to what is important. We also want them to be as independent as possible by teaching them about farming, cooking, foraging wild plants, self-construction and personal development.
I unexpectedly ended up spending over a year in this city. Edinburgh is as beautiful as it is magical, no surprise this is the birth-place for Harry Potter. I love the fact that Scotland has a mythological creature as their national animal: the unicorn. It not only represents pride and power but also the untameable. Ironically, the unicorn and the lion (national animal of England) are considered enemies by nature.
From the land of the Samurai is another family business with flavour contributions to Greenwich Gin. This one goes back to when Monya Komine opened his own restaurant after working as a cook at the Odawara castle before it was demolished by the Meiji government. Today, the company is managed by Takako, a fifth generation Komine, and they still produce their own Sakura from the Kanagawa prefecture in Japan.
My future surfer at this beautiful North Devon surf beach. This was my first encounter with the English coast and the Celtic Sea from which our marine ingredients are sustainably foraged (about a hundred miles from this beach).
Seville oranges originated from the foothills of the Himalayas and were brought to Spain by the Moors in the 10th century. Being a Spanish national I appreciate how oranges give a special identity to Seville (and perhaps all of Spain), going as far as building an orange garden inside the Seville cathedral. These oranges are very tasty, but as opposed to the Valencia cousins, Sevilla oranges are quite bitter. Hence, rather than eating them straight, we use them for baked goods, marmalade and of course: Greenwich Gin.
A couple hours from my partner’s hometown of Rimouski is the region of La Gaspésie from where we source our balsam fir. Ocean cliffs, mountains and the vast boreal forest makes it such a special and beautiful place. We are proud of our supplier, their story and their commitment to our planet:
We act as responsibly as possible in order to preserve our planet:
– 1% of our profits are allocated towards the protection of the environment
– we do not forage fragile or endangered species
– our dried products are not fumigated
– our dried products are commercially available in paper bags made of 40% recycled paper
Cologne (Köln) will always be in my book as “the one that could have been”. I had big plans, I learned German for 3 years to be able to live there, I was in love with this city. Unfortunately my plans were as big as they were flawed so after a few months I ended up in Munich working at the beer gardens. However, I remained forever loyal to Kölsch (the local beer of Cologne). I learned that beer in Germany is like a football team, people will passionately express their hometown pride by the football team they support, as much as by the beer they drink!
Jhoany is an avid climber, runner, and cyclist wo started a family business of natural products and is now supplying lulo to Greenwich Gin. He is committed to the development of climbing in Colombia, contributing to the sport by opening climbing areas in different parts of the country as well as sponsoring local athletes. We share his values and love his mission: To be an exemplary company in the food industry for its conscious role in society and the environment. We want to provide our customers with products that, while being delicious and healthy, improve their quality of life and well-being. All this, based on human work with our collaborators, support for agribusiness, and fostering a sense of belonging to our territory. We want to be a company that, in addition to standing out for its excellence in products, contributes to the human development of our country.
It is amazing how much there is to see and do in such a small country, such as hiking through this beautiful glacier (Aletschgletscher). My time living in Zurich was nothing but fun and adventure week after week. I even picked up some good Schweizderdeutsch and did my longest bungy jump down the Verzasca dam.
When it comes to New Year’s traditions, all countries have their own rituals. In Colombia it gets really interesting! You have to deal with a long to-do list if you want a prosperous new year. You must make sure to be wearing yellow underwear for happiness, have lentils in your pockets for the wealth and place wheat on the table to ensure plenty of food in the new year. Right before midnight it gets really busy: You must eat one grape and make one wish for each of the final 12 seconds of the countdown before midnight. After the clock strikes you must take your first step with the right foot (you wouldn’t want to start the year on the wrong foot), hug your loved ones and go running around your block with empty suitcases (the bigger the suitcase, the further you will travel in the new year!). Finally, it will be time to burn the human-shaped “old year”: a farewell to the previous year and anything negative about it will burn away. In this photo I’m enjoying aguardiente with my 2006 old year.
We like to think of our suppliers as families rather than companies. This is from Catherine’s story all the way from French Canada:
“We do not live from what the Earth gives us, we live with the Earth. We are and will always be true artisans who offer you wild products that come from our land. In our eyes, hand-crafted quality with a personal touch is only conceivable on a small scale, so as to maintain optimal control over every aspect of our work.“
Only few times have I feared for my life. This hot-air balloon trip over the fascinating chinese Yangshuo mountains was one of them: Sharp mountain peaks, wind, electricity grids and a non-English-speaking pilot with questionable experience made the perfect storm. After hours of failed landing attempts we ended up landing in the backyard of a rice farmer’s house just feet away from the electrical grid. As I frantically jumped out of the basket, the loss of my weight made the balloon take off again so I had to jump back in to patiently wait for rescue.
An unexpected winter in Yellowknife taught me about the beautiful arctic. Walking on the ice to a dark and isolated place to admire the northern lights was an absolute spectacle of nature. But it quickly turned into a horror show when a pack of hungry wolves started to surround us. This place was simply magical: ice roads built over massive frozen lakes, ice castles, diamonds, wolves and aurora borealis. There is also something special about the people, my Yellowknife friends, and the way they live with nature.
Greenwich Gin and the Prime Meridian
The maritime legacy of Greenwich enabled safe navigation around the world and paved the way to a new era of culinary innovation that combines flavours and spices from different parts of the world. However, Greenwich meridian is more than that, it is also a global symbol of coexistence and collaboration, the entire world coming together to agree on time and space. As opposed to the Equator line, Greenwich meridian is not the physical middle of the Earth and is rather an agreed location (in fact, it has not always been where it is today). For the world to collaborate it was necessary for every country to agree on where the prime meridian should be. Therefore, the concept of mean time and longitude 0° is the product of global alliance and agreement, a value that in recent years has shown dramatic decay. Our gin seeks to revive that global inclusion and collaboration spirit: We use marine botanicals from Britain but the true provenance of our gin lies in the spirit of bringing together people and places from different corners of the world. Like the Greenwich meridian, our gin would be incomplete without extending its soul from Britain into the rest of the world.
“ Zero degrees of Longitude, the centre of time and space, literally the place where East meets West.[…] Given that time is Longitude, and that Longitude is time, the Old Royal Observatory is also the guardian of midnight’s twelve strikes. The day starts in Greenwich. ”
Dava Sobel – Longitude
A family of three who embody the adventurous and curious spirit of the brand. The question of “Where is home for you?” proves to be a painful conundrum for them to answer. Although based in London, they are true world explorers. They have lived in over 8 countries in 4 continents (unfortunately not always graciously) and earned 5 different nationalities. The people and places they met along the way tell stories of travel and adventure. Through their journey, they created a special connection with different parts of the world from where they ethically source unique botanicals which harmoniously accord the marine character of Greenwich Gin. Every aspect of the brand, from recipe to packaging, is an honest reflection of the founders’ spirit.
For a career-focused workaholic, spending a full year at home without working sounded like a nightmare. However, while taking adoption leave to help their child settle in smoothly from foster home, a new perspective on life emerged, far away from the office and corporate life. Being gin lovers during lockdown, they started to distill their own gin, they tried distilling different groups and combinations of over 60 world botanicals and a dozen of marine ingredients from Britain. After countless recipe trials, long nights and a little help, they finally narrowed it down to a perfectly balanced blend that became Greenwich Gin. Very quickly the gin obsession became the profession, and the rest is history…