#MeetTheMaker - Ian Spooner, One Gin
In our third #MeetTheMaker interviews we caught up with Ian Spooner - Managing Director of The Spirit of One.
Q: Tell us a bit about you.
A: I’m a foodie, keen cook and drinks enthusiast with a passion for the outdoors. I live in Richmond, Southwest London with my wife and two young daughters. Formally marketing director of One Water - following a successful launch of One Gin earlier this year, I’m transitioning my role to focus on running our new gin business, The Spirit of One.
Q: Why did you start One Gin?
A: To answer this I need to go back a few years and tell you a little about One Gin’s parent brand, One Water – the UK’s leading ethical water and soft drinks brand.
One was founded back in 2004 by a close friend of mine, Duncan Goose, expressly to raise funds for water projects around the world. Since the brand launched as the official bottled water for Live8 and Make Poverty History in July 2005, it has gone on to raise over £15 million for water projects, changing the lives of over 3.2 million people in the world’s poorest communities. You can watch the story of how it all started at onedifference.org/ann.
As for One Gin, well… with an overall brand target of raising £20 million by 2020 for The One Foundation, last year we started looking at the drinks sector more broadly. With the growth in gin, we felt that the One brand had something unique to offer in this space. Just as chaos theory suggests that the tiny flutter of a butterfly’s wing can trigger a cyclone on the other side of the world, every bottle of One Gin funds life-changing water projects in the world’s poorest communities.
Q: Tell us a bit about your gin and how it's distilled.
A: One Gin is a contemporary style gin, produced using a double distillation – the first, a London Dry style, featuring 9 core botanicals; the second, a distillation of fresh sage. The two are then blended together to give a uniquely savoury flavour profile.
Being the only botanical exported east on the spice trail, sage lends a quintessentially British signature to our gin. Also, by happy coincidence, the genus name of the sage plant is derived from the latin word, salvare, meaning “to save”. It can be said, therefore, that it ties in with the One brand’s overarching vision - helping to 'save' the estimated 663 million people around the world without access to clean water.
Q: What's in your gin stash?
A: I’ve always had a penchant for gin, but my stash has certainly grown over the past 12 months as I’ve become more interested in the category – for research purposes of course. Current faves (other than One Gin of course) are Kew Organic Gin and Jinzu.
Q: What's your favourite tonic?
At the risk of sounding biased (it’s our signature serve), it has to be Peter Spanton’s No.9 Cardamom.
Q: What is your favourite non gin drink?
It depends on the time of year. I’m a huge fan of a long pastis in the sunshine (Henri Bardouin given the choice), I love a negroni, and I’m a bit of a coffee nerd.
Q: What's the best way to drink your gin?
A word I’ve heard many times to describe One Gin is “versatile”. Our signature serve is with Peter Spanton No.9, garnished with slices of crisp apple and fresh sage leaves. It makes a great dry martini – try with Blackdown Silver Birch Vermouth or Dolin. Or a sour, shaken with sage leaves.
Q: What else can we expect from One Gin?
It’s early days yet and we have far more ideas than it is practical or sensible to progress! But expect to see more from The Spirit of One. We have big ambitions for the brand in this space and aspirations to be a substantial contributor to the parent brand’s 2020 target.
You can purchase One Gin for £38.95 and is our September Gin of the Month - featuring free Peter Spanton tonics and sage seeds to grow your own accompaniment!