Making a mark at the World Gin Awards

Chris and Carolina with the prestigious gold and bronze awards they won at the World Gin Awards.
Chris and Carolina with the prestigious gold and bronze awards they won at the World Gin Awards. / SUR

    A British-owned craft gin company has scooped two awards at the recent World Gin Awards in London.

    Run by husband and wife team Chris and Carolina Tunmore, Hayes Gin won the prestigious Gold Award for its London Dry Gin. The couple, both avid gin connoisseurs, also picked up the bronze in the flavoured category for their blood orange and ginger-flavoured gin.

    The global awards select the very best in all internationally recognised styles of gin, and categories included contemporary, flavoured, sloe and London Dry gin.

    The awards highlight the exceptional products, distilleries and people within the gin industry.

    Winners are selected through a vigorous blind tasting and unique scoring process. The carefully selected judges look for specialisms in distillation, mixology, marketing and distribution.

    Chris and Carolina began to explore the craft gin business in 2016. The couple, both long-time residents on the Costa del Sol, began by making different types of gin in their home in Fuengirola. After selecting the right distillery in Madrid in 2017, they launched the Hayes Gin brand, which quickly began to attract the attention of gin lovers on the coast.

    Award winning recipes

    It took the couple about a year to perfect their award-winning recipes by bringing together the very best tasting natural ingredients to produce their small-batch craft gins.

    "Becoming Spain's number one gin is such an honour. There are some great gins in Spain, so for us to win both gold for the London Dry and bronze for our blood orange and ginger flavour for Spain, is incredible," Chris says.

    This is the first time the couple have entered the competition, which this year received more than 400 entries from around the world.

    "This is the first time we have entered the World Gin Awards. From our point of view, we love our gins and feel we put our heart and soul into every bottle. But when a panel of industry experts award you gold and bronze for Spain, you suddenly think, wow, we are making something very special," Carolina explains.

    Making an impact

    The couple created their bold flavours after finding the correct German copper still, and they are delighted to have made such an impact on the gin market in just three years.

    "We are so happy our Mediterranean London Dry has taken the Gold Award. There are different ways to make gin, but London Dry is the hardest. A lot of people think London Dry means the gin has to be distilled in London. In fact, it means that once the gin is distilled you can't add anything but water. We wanted to create a Mediterranean London Dry that was smooth and refreshing, yet flavourful and full of character. I think this award proves we have achieved that," Chris says.

    Chris and Carolina are hoping to open a new distillery in Malaga in 2022. At the moment, they are preparing to release their new barrel-aged spiced gin, which they hope to present at next year's World Gin Awards.

    They also plan to promote their brand again at this year's the Marenostrum festival in Fuengirola.