#MeetTheMaker - Tanya Barrow, Blogger Gin
Our fourth #MeetTheMaker interview is with Mummy Barrow (aka Tanya or T). Blogger extraordinaire turned gin maker!
Q: Tell us a bit about you.
A: Gosh, I will try and keep this brief as I do tend to waffle! I am married mum of three who lives in Hampshire. My background is in "organising people" really, from being a PA in the 90s to running my own business now I have always seemed to find myself bossing people about! I am now a full time blogger, working on my blog Mummy Barrow, and providing a content for a number of others including an American loan company, and a group of classic car owners who drive their cars all over the world. I also talk about gin on social media. A lot.
Q: Why did you start / want to Make Blogger Gin?
A: It is weird really as I didn’t even like gin until three years ago so the idea I would then go on and make one is laughable! I discovered though that it wasn’t gin as a whole I didn’t like, it was mass produced gin, and cheap tonic. Once I had eliminated those and found artisan gins and top quality tonics and mixers there was no stopping me! If you spend time with bloggers you start to realise they talk about gin a lot. I thought it might be fun to have one named after us. A kind of “by us and for us” type thing.
Q: Tell us a bit about your gin and how it’s distilled.
A: My gin was made in conjunction with Alan and Amy at Bottomley Distillery, a duo I was introduced to by Gin Parlour co-founder Adam. I approached them with the idea and how I wanted my finished gin to taste: great with lemonade, not just tonic. They came up with the recipe, which we tasted over email and with samples being posted, tweaking it until we found our favourite combination. It is distilled as a London gin, in a still in their garage in Lincolnshire. I went up with my friend Alice to join in with the distillation process, with us then bottling them the next day. It’s a warm gin I think, with two types of peppercorns (pink and black), cardammon seeds, cinnamon, licorice and lemon peel. It has a spicy initial note to it, with the licorice giving it a sweetness on the finish.
Q: What’s the best way to enjoy your gin?
A: The best way to enjoy Blogger Gin, is in a Copa glass with lots of ice and your favourite mixer. Preferably with your feet up at the end of a tough day. I like to feel myself breathing out and relaxing as I take the first mouthful.
Q: What’s in your #ginstash?
A: Oh gosh, my gin stash is verging on the obscene. I am currently doing #Ginmas where I have shared a different gin on Twitter every day in December so there is a huge collection of miniatures in my current collection. Along side over 50 full size bottles. I almost have the whole alphabet, and missing letters are on my Christmas list! (You can see the stash at the end of the interview!)
Q: What’s your favourite tonic?
A: I am not a fan of "straight tonic" water so I tend to avoid it unless I know it is a specific flavoured one, and I drink my gin with lemonade generally. If I am in charge of the tonic then I do love Double Dutch cucumber and watermelon, or if it is with a Blogger Gin, their Pomegranate and basil is lovely too.
Q: What’s your favourite non-gin tipple?
A: Tea. Before I started my obsession with gin I wanted to learn about tea and travel to India and Sri Lanka to visit tea plantations. I wanted to properly understand and know about tea. My parents had a vineyard in France for a decade and know pretty much all there is to know about wine. I wanted to have a thing that I knew about and when I realised that learning about tea could be expensive I switched to gin. I know quite a bit now, but I am still a huge lover of tea. I am never far from a mug of it and even take my own tea bags and fresh milk to hotels for the weekend.
Q: What else can we expect from Blogger Gin?
A: Well this first run has nearly sold out and there are no plans currently to do another one but I really do have the bug for making gin now. I think the next step would be to buy a still. Which means getting the garage cleared to make a space. That has been on the to do list for 14 years so this might be the motivation I need!
You can buy Blogger Gin exclusively from The Gin Parlour for £35.95.
Mummy Barrow’s #GinStash. Wow!
Main photo credit Annie Spratt.