My gin of the month for July is One Gin, a gin I whose story I have followed for a while, but that I only got to taste for the first time last month. I first came across it on Kickstarter, the crowd funding site and then in one of those weird twists of fate that happen sometimes I was invited to the launch party as a roving reporter for the Gin Parlour. Never have I been more glad the Gin Parlour is based in Manchester, than when they were invited to the party in London but couldn’t make so asked me to go in their place!
The story behind this new gin is extraordinary, and I urge you to watch this video:
but be warned you will need tissues.
It tells the story of Duncan Goose’s journey as founder of this gin and why raising money through its sale is so important to him. Duncan had already founded The One Water Project after seeing a photograph in a newspaper back in 2003, on a day when the only news people were talking about was Saddam Hussein’s capture. He happened to be reading an article on page 18 of the Guardian about the lack of accessible water in Kibera, an area on the outskirts of Nairobi in Kenya. More importantly he was drawn to the photograph taken by Marco Longari that accompanied the article.
Little did Duncan know at that point how life changing it would be, not just for him but also for the 2.5 million others lives who have been helped by the brand he went on to develop: the One Water project, and the One Foundation.
Duncan remortgaged his house in order to fund his philanthropic desire to bring clean water to those in desperate need.
By 2013 over £10 million had been raised. To date it is £15 million, and 3 million lives helped.
So that explains the water but what about the gin? Duncan looked at areas of the drinks industry that might be able to fund that growth in donations and saw that gin was where the smart people were. Every one knows that gin sales are booming right now, so the time was ripe for an ethical gin to hit the shelves that not only tastes incredible, but gives back too.
One Gin is distilled by multi-award-winning Master Distiller Sarah Thompson at Blackdown Distillery in Sussex. The process uses 9 botanicals from around the world, plus one quintessentially British botanical – sage – foraged from the grounds of the distillery
The One Brand is aiming to raise £20 million by 2020 in order to help the 663 million people in the world who still live without access to clean water. Profits from the sale of the gin are ploughed back into the One Foundation in order to help those that need it most.
You will know by now that fund raising for those less fortunate that us, especially in Africa, is what I get quite passionate about. Three trips with Comic Relief have confirmed my belief that real change is happening in Africa, donating to charity DOES make a difference, and now we can do it just by drinking gin!
But how does it taste? Well, it was incredible. Hints of tea, and a punch of sage mean that when drunk with a good slug of Peter Spanton’s No 9 Caramom tonic and garnished with fresh apple and sage it makes the perfect long summer drink. Or if you want something a bit more punchy you can drink it neat and really savour those flavours.
A gin that does good is well worth pouring in my opinion, in fact you can make mine a double.