Pinkster is an agreeably British Gin with a lot of character and a lot of raspberries. At first glance you might think that Pinkster Gin is a pure marketing ploy by the geniuses at big advertising agencies, but when you look and meet the team behind the gin, a slightly different and much more British kind of story unfolds.
Pinkster Gin was created in 2013 by Stephen Marsh when he approached Charles Maxwell to collaborate on another gin to add to the impressive portfolio at Thames Distillers. This time, though, the gin would be made using raspberries as its signature botanical, though juniper – of course – would remain very present.
Stephen Marsh, a North Hertfordshire based entrepreneur, PR maverick and all-round good egg was backed by a private equity firm to launch the brand that year, having seen a gap in the market for an infused gin (and having received plenty of goading from friends and family).
In summer 2014, Pinkster Gin switched distillers, taking production to G&J – producers of Greenalls, BLOOM, and Opihr – where it now sits under the watchful eye of Master Distiller Joanne Moore. The decision to move distilleries came because, having tested the market for a year, the company decided to scale up, and the traditional copper pot stills along with larger facilities at G&J were more suited to their needs.
The story goes that Stephen began creating his own gin after contracting a yeast allergy, preventing him from drinking his previous favourite tipple – wine. He experimented with gin at home for a further two years until he stumbled upon the resulting raspberry recipe now used in Pinkster Gin, which he used for his own consumption and offered to visiting guests.
It started as a mere hobby, and while in the early days of Pinkster Gin he held his role as Finance Director to two companies, the gin’s ever growing popularity has turned it into Stephen’s full-time occupation.
At the time of it’s launch, Stephen Marsh said: “Pinkster is an idiosyncratic entrant to the burgeoning premium gin category. It’s a busy marketplace with some mighty fine gins out there, but our research indicates that there’s scope for a new player with a refreshingly different USP.”
“Our colour, our flavour profile, and our vibrant branding is set to give us genuine stand-out. With a target audience of premium spirits drinkers, we believe that we have the potential to broaden the category attracting non-gin drinkers as well as more seasoned consumers.”
Pinkster Gin is made up of five botanicals, only three of which are publicly known: juniper, raspberries and black peppercorn. The fresh raspberries are steeped in the triple distilled spirit giving the gin a dry yet subtly smooth flavour. They are also infused in the gin after distillation, which is why the liquid has a pink hue.
Those of you who are positively beaming at the notion of a raspberry/gin combination will be thrilled to know the Pinkster also make Boozy Berries – a pot of (very) gin infused raspberries that double up as a conscience easing recycling project and a way to incorporate gin into your dessert regime.
Pinkster Gin to taste…
Pinkster Gin‘s hue leads the senses but the berries are actually quite subtle on the nose, while juniper stands its ground with a hint of pepper. To taste, Pinkster Gin has a sweet profile, with juniper and coriander underlying a jammy raspberry note not too dissimilar to a coulis on a cheesecake. (Mmmm gin and cake… Now your talking). There’s a peppery finish to the gin that pulls it back from being overtly sickly and for fans of sweeter gins, this is a cut above Brockman’s Gin. It’s red berry sweetness is more subtle in comparison to Brockman’s, and is all the better for it. The overall impression is of a gin that has a raspberry twist rather than a raspberry gin.
Pinkster’s brand identity was created by Edinburgh-based drinks specialist design agency Nevis. Despite being a pink gin, we would argue that the Colonel Pinkster‘s general image – created from an exaggerated reflection of Marsh’s figure and personality – helps balance this gin away from a female audience and into a neutral zone.
Since its release in 2013, Pinkster Gin has undergone a touch of re-branding. The bottle is still the same sleek shape, with clear cut glass demonstrating the lovely pink liquid within it, but the labelling information has undergone a transformation, with pink and grey colours making it all easier to read and slightly more noticeable on a shelf.
Since it’s inception, Pinkster Gin has gone from strength to strength. It is widely distributed in a number of countries – it’s reach spreading as far as Australia – and has teamed up with huge, global brands such as Benefit Cosmetics in its campaigns.
Recently, Pinkster Gin launched a fundraising campaign on Growthdeck with the hope of raising £600,000. Demand is far outstripping supply, so the company is hoping to secure enough money to finance their expansion. At the time of writing, and less than a month in, the campaign was already halfway met.
Things are looking very rosy indeed in the Pinkster Gin world.
For more information about Pinkster Gin, visit their website: www.pinkstergin.com
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