Founded on forgotten recipes and traditional botanicals, Bermondsey Distillery started life as the personal project of gin enthusiast Christian Jensen.
Almost 20 years later and its London Dry and Old Tom bottlings are transporting a loyal following of devoted drinkers back in time. It was while working in Tokyo in 2000 that Christian realised the supply of good-quality gin was decreasing. I was in a bar and, for no particular reason, I complained about gin not being as good as it used to be. The bartender was in complete agreement. Comparing a bottle of Gordon’s from the 1960s with a bottle produced that year, Christian became convinced there was a marked difference between the two products – not just in age, but in composition.
A few years later, when it was time for Christian to return home to London, the owner presented him with one of his favourite bottles of vintage gin as a leaving present. “He joked, saying, ‘Go home and make some gin. I can’t keep finding this old stuff!’” It took Christian 150 iterations and 1.5 years to get the recipe right, and this is the result. Gin as it was. Gin as it should be.