Behind the Bottle

From the artisan still in the heart of Glasgow to the story behind our minimalistic bottle design, inspired by the city and people around us, find out what makes Glaswegin a gin for Glasgow.

We had our name and, while we were working on our recipe, the next question was “what is it going to look like?”. We knew it had to stand out and make Glasgow proud, so we approached award-winning designer and Glasgow School of Art graduate, Paul Gray, to discuss the project.

Paul is known for producing exceptional work that not only delights clients and attracts awards - he’s also invited to exhibit at the Design Museum London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) and the V&A in London. Could we dare to dream of a Glaswegin exhibition in the future?

In Paul's own words...

“The brief initially was to design the packaging and appearance of a new gin. A first time entry into a, now, very busy and saturated market.”

“After a great deal of research I saw a commonality. Not all gins are the same but a lot of them are. Centred paper labels on glass. Some are distinctive. Most aren't (in my view). Some work well in your hand but often fail behind the bar in a gantry. Finesse and detail, good production values are all very important but what, in my view, is often missing is the connection between your hand and a back bar presence (back bar standout).”

“These were always front of mind for me. No use in producing a lovely thing if you can't see it at the point of purchase, the point of presence. It has to work 'back there'. It is a consumer point of contact, after all, and is there to sell.”

“So, make it distinctive, make it stand out and make it unlike any other gin in the (saturated) market. A self-brief (if you will). I believe we have achieved that. The shipping containers are also important. People see these and that helps with brand synergy.”

 

“A launch and dive into this arena (any arena) is always a risk, but distinctive design and brave clients can make things happen.”

“The feedback has been fantastic for such a young project. People are talking about it, asking for it specifically. That's a very healthy sign.”

“Keep it simple. Simple always works. No complications. Clear, concise and then... a leap into the pool.”

Our gin is bottled and distilled in the heart of Glasgow's Tradeston area, and it was important to us that every element of Glaswegin reflected the city and the people that inspired it. With a nod to Glasgow's industrial past, the distillery we have used is found under a railway bridge and, coincidentally, our founder spent years staring at the very spot the distillery now sits in while he waited for his bus home from school across the road.

A real thing of beauty, the handcrafted artisan copper alembic still may be manufactured by Al-Ambiq in Portugal but it's reminiscent of something that could easily have been crafted by the side of the Clyde. 

Copper has been used for stills for as long as anyone has been distilling. It keeps the distillate sweet and has excellent heat transfer properties, which helps in distributing heat evenly and in cooling the vapours, to reduce bacterial contamination and absorb unwanted sulphur compounds.

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