GIN FOUNDRY CO FOUNDERS Oliver Ward and Emile Ward

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waves in the drinks industry, especially the gin world are brother combo Olivier and Emile Ward. Founders of the Gin Foundry and with a multidisciplinary studio focused around whisky they know a thing or two about spirits. This weeks LDNERS people…

Tell us where you live in London and what you love about the area?

EW: I live on Tottenham Court Road, yep, on TCR so I’m right in the thick of it. People think it sounds like hell on earth but the reality is that it’s busy during the week and actually quite quiet on the weekends. Since I’m a big foodie and love my gin cocktails, it’s the perfect place to jump around to check out the newest spots and do so before everyone else. You can’t beat walking home either…

OW: I live in Richmond. Possibly the polar opposite of Emile but I like the fact that it’s quiet. I feel it’s somewhere were I have space to think and for me – spending time outdoors is critical to remain inspired about creating seasonal recipes, spirits and time sensitive concepts. It’s easy to get swept up in the buzz of central but I find that a bit of distance (not too much though!) helps keep ideas fresh and relevant to a wider audience.

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What do you make of the current cocktail scene in London?

EW: It’s an amazing time to be in London for any cocktail aficionado and it can sometimes be really difficult to keep up with the newest bar opening or cocktail trend. But that’s what makes it so much fun too so we can’t complain. It’s rare to find a place where you can go from the extremes of White Lyan and their no perishables rule all the way to the London Cocktail Clubs where good times and cocktails don’t mean the end of your wallet.

OW: London and New York are the two global hubs for cocktail culture. It’s nice to see such big cities really embrace it and while there’s a lot of shared practice between the two, there are also lots of things unique to us here. London manages to combine playfulness alongside the more serious, slightly introspective geeky side of the industry in a way that nowhere else really achieves. The cocktail scene is particularly great here as London is by far the global capital of gin, so the two combine in a perfect storm for anyone like us who loves both.

What have you been up to over the Summer?

EW: Where to start? We hosted Junipalooza, the UK’s biggest gin festival in Shoreditch at the beginning of June and that really kicked summer off for us. We created a gin bar for John Lewis’ Kew the Music festival and launched our second product called the ‘Anthology of Gin’. By tasting four distinctive styles of gin, this tasting pack takes you on a journey through the chequered history of gin and why it’s become this quintessentially English spirit.

OW: Summer was nuts but it’s not like it’s been quiet since. We’re gearing up into winter where we’re busy bottling and packing gin filled advent calendars as well as planning tastings and tours for December.


What would be your perfect day in London?

EW: Start the day off right with a run and a good healthy lunch. Working in the drinks industry means you need to be extra aware of staying healthy. Then get ready for dinner by having a couple aperitivo cocktails at some top cocktail bars where you can get to chat to the bartenders and learn so much from their craft. All in all, lots of food and drink but most importantly my day has got to be spent with family and friends.

OW: Going out in the morning foraging around for a few ingredients and some inspiration, then distilling gin in the studio. It’s great fun to create new flavours and seeing what we can come up with, let alone testing it out in new recipes for cocktails. There’s something deeply satisfying about being able to have an idea and being able to see it through yourself from grain to glass.