Rupert Holloway, in his own words, is a happy kind of hungry and has grown a blissful idea into reality.
When Rupes set out in Conker, he was seeking happiness and contentment in his work. He thought that running his own business, building something for himself, would finally quench the ambition and hunger that had kept him restless. Having chucked in the office life for a career as Dorset's first gin distiller, within a short time, it's certain to say his dream is a success.
Since distilling began in December 2013, Rupert spent 6 month refining the Dorset dry recipe sip by sip and with love; the result is a very pure, smooth alcohol with a botanical balance that can be easily enjoyed as it comes or as part of a G&T or cocktail.
When talking to groweatgather.co.uk Rupes described his distillery with obvious love and affection. "Set in the backstreets of Southbourne in Bournemouth, Dorset. The building was an old Victorian laundry and when I looked around it in late 2014 and saw the old round the corner sliding door and crooked Victorian brickwork I thought to myself, 'wow, this place is destined to be a distillery!'.Tucked behind the houses, this was the perfect setting for Conker. After all, I see gin as an urban spirit and one that shouldn't be tucked away on some industrial estate or barn in the middle of nowhere.
Rupes uses a 30lt copper alembic pot still to create the Dorset Dry Gin. This type of still has been used for hundreds of years and is capable of distilling spirits to a very high quality. As Rupert says, 'Distilling on such a tiny scale allows for incredible quality control. However, it doesn't come without its challenges; keeping the flavours consistent across batches and the need for avery hands-on approach, rather than the automated systems of the big gin brands'.
Conker Dorset Dry Gin uses 10 select botanicals, with juniper at the forefront but it also includes a delicate mix of elderberries, gorse foraged from the cliff-tops of Bournemouth and the New Forest, coriander seed, angelica root, marsh samphire, orris root, Seville orange peel, lime peel and cassia bark which altogether give a complex but fresh herbaceous feel to the gin.
Conker Spirit is all about doing the right thing, without the fuss. Just top notch spirits without the gimmicks. An ethos worth shouting about - we think!