Celebrating World Gin Day With Brighton Gin

Celebrating World Gin Day with multiple award-winning Brighton Gin

It’s gin o’clock as Toast.Life chats to Kathy Caton, founder and MD of the multiple award-winning Brighton Gin, to hear more about her sensational spirit and get her top tips for celebrating World Gin Day in style, as well the secret to creating the world’s easiest cocktail…

Birthdays are important, of course. As are anniversaries, National Doughnut Day, International Pizza Day and weddings (royal ones particularly), but it gives me great to pleasure to announce that this month sees the mother of all celebrations. Saturday 9th June 2018 is World GIN Day - yes that’s right - an entire day dedicated to celebrating gin, glorious gin.

“I’ve always absolutely loved gin - it’s always been my drink of choice!” grins Kathy Caton, founder and managing director of the multiple award-winning Brighton Gin.

“When I was at University, which was admittedly last century! People would laugh about me drinking ‘a nan’s drink’ as it was so desperately uncool, but I’ve always loved it”

And now of course, so does everybody else. Gone are the days of ‘Mother’s Ruin’ and the association with ‘old’; Gin has seen an incredible renaissance over recent years. Demand has soared, and the number of gin brands and distilleries have multiplied at an astounding rate - there are now over a staggering 500 British gins, and 2,500 worldwide, but despite fierce competition – Kathy’s bottle of Brighton is winning awards left, right and centre.

“The inspiration for Brighton Gin  came during a jog along the seafront the morning after the night before - I’d had a very late night tucking in to the gins and dancing round a friend’s kitchen table and out running the next day I twigged that gin is the one drink that lets you get away with it.  Brighton is a place that needs to get away with it on a frequent basis, and ta-da! The idea of Brighton gin was born”

Brighton Gin is a multiple ­award-winning super premium small batch gin, made at the very first distillery within the fabulous city of Brighton & Hove – ‘the first legal distillery…!’ Kathy adds. It’s made from 100% organic grain spirit, juniper, fresh orange and lime peel, locally­-grown coriander seed, and milk thistle, which Kathy tells me is indigenous to the South Downs and renowned for its kindness to the liver function, which is handy.

Brighton Gin was born out of a passion for gin, and a passion for the place where we live and play – we wanted to create a gin that embodied the spirit of Brighton: unusual, playful and fiercely independent. I’m really proud that we are a genuinely hand-crafted product, from peeling fruit and crushing juniper for our distillations to waxing and labelling each bottle - a human has done that” explains Kathy proudly.

“When I started off developing the recipe - which took two years to get right - there was a vast list of botanicals I wanted to use, which has been whittled down to six, every one of which has earned its place in the bottle.  We’ve created a gin that is smooth enough to be sipped neat and is certified vegan too, so it can be drunk with a clear conscience!” 

Brighton Gin Pier

Brighton Gin

Each deliciously guilt-free bottle is filled, labelled and wax sealed by hand and the distinctive blue/green colour is a nod to the same hue of Brighton’s famous seafront railings. Kathy and her ‘merry band of distillers, gin peddlers and production heroes/heroines’ total a solid 14, and the company is firmly dedicated to creating a new industry for Brighton & Hove ­– one that is sustainable, ecologically­-minded, and an above Living Wage and flexible employer.

“it's a life of surreal extremes!” laughs Kathy. “On one notable day I went to 10 Downing Street to talk about British Gin with the then Prime Minister and later that day was back in Brighton dealing with unblocking the loos, which was nice and grounding! Also The Archers has been running a craft gin storyline over recent months which I've been the storyline consultant on, which has been amazing with my twin loves of radio and gin colliding - hard to keep schtum about future storylines in the pub though!”

It’s safe to say that Kathy knows a thing about good gin and how to serve it, so who could be better placed to talk us though how to celebrate World Gin Day (or any day for that matter…) in delicious style.                              


Shake things up

Get a gang of mates together and collaborate on cocktails” suggests Kathy. “They don’t all need thousands of ingredients - go for a Gin Fizz, a Negroni, and a Bramble - after that you’ll be ready for anything! Our Sussex 75 cocktail is great if you want to get things started with a bang!”

Sussex 75 ingredients

50ml Brighton Gin

20ml Lemon juice

Sparkling wine

“Combine the Brighton Gin and lemon in a flute and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist - it’s easy, delicious, brilliant!”

As well as mixing it with fizz and of course the obligatory tonic, gin is incredibly versatile and can be mixed, muddled, shaken and stirred in a variety of delicious ways. 

“The versatility and adaptability of gin is one of the things that’s lead to its renaissance. It’s a fantastic cocktail base or go classic with a martini – which is as short and punchy as they get!”

Gin Made Me Do It And Other Gin Books

Get some recipe inspiration from the expert gin cocktail books all from £1.99, www.amazon.co.uk


When it comes to glassware, the versatility continues, and the possibilities are endless – Kathy says there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to shape or size.

“Copa glasses are really popular at the moment as you can have tonnes of ice which melts slower and doesn’t dilute the gin. Or go for a classic Collins glass, again with lots of ice and less tonic so the gin comes through more. Or out of a plastic beaker camping!”

LSA Gin Balloon Glas

Idyll Balloon Gin Glasses Personalised

LSA Gin Cocktail Glass Set £100. Idyll Home’s personalised copa glasses £29 for 2, LSA copa glasses £28 for set of 2, LSA Ice Bucket £35. 

“And remember - if you’re serving cocktails, then the right kit can really make a difference” suggests Kathy.

These really gorgeous mixing tools are also perfect to create the ideal Gin and Tonic from LSA Mixology Toolset at £50.

LSA Mixology Toolset  

If you want to go all out and create your very own Gin Bar, we love this Stirling drinks trolly that is functional and stylish, with ample room for drinks, mixers, glasses and ice bucket for £299 from Aitkin and Thymeor there's the LSA Grand Gin Serving Set £275. 

Flavoured Fun  

These days gin can also quite commonly be found in a variety of flavours, ranging from the exotic (like Opihr’s Oriental Spiced Gin) and fruity (such as Rose d'Argent Strawberry Gin) to the aromatic (try Williams Pink Grapefruit Gin) and quite frankly bizarre (see Zymurgorium’s Turkish Delight Gin…), but are they all they’re cracked up to be?

“Flavoured gin all depends on the quality! There’s a lot of debate at the moment about whether a flavoured gin should still be called a gin - the legal definition of gin is that it has to taste predominantly of juniper, but that’s so subjective” explains Kathy. 

“As a personal preference, I don’t particularly like sugary alcohols, so I prefer the non-sweetened ones - but I did have lemon drizzle flavour gin the other day in lieu of pudding - and I can say it definitely works if you’re a lazy pudding caterer!”

Flavoured Gins

Sipsmith’s Lemon Drizzle Gin £15, Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin £19, Rose d'Argent Strawberry Gin £19.99, Williams Pink Grapefruit Gin £36.45,  Zymurgorium Turkish Delight Gin £26.50. 

Garnish Gate 

“With garnishes, I’d recommend going for something that either accentuates one of the botanicals in the gin you’re drinking - for example our recommended serve is with a slice of orange to bring out the fresh citrus botanicals in our gin - or you can go for something completely different. Try some sprigs of mint or lemon thyme from the window sill – just give them a smack to release the oils. Don’t be afraid to have a play!” Kathy encourages.

“We actually do an alternative serve with Brighton Gin - pour a double measure over tonnes of ice, top up with your favourite quality tonic, and add an inch or two of Brighton rock! There you have it - the Brighton Rocktail! The world’s easiest cocktail! The rock changes the colour of the drink gradually and adds a minty freshness. It’s fun, easy and accessible!”  

Brighton Rock Gin

Brighton Gin Served

Brighton Gin Rock £4.50 for 5 sticks.  

The Perfect Serve 

“I’m a firm advocate of trying craft spirits neat, or opened up with a few drops of water - is it rough or smooth? Can you taste anything, or just ethanol and burn? I love a neat, quality gin over ice sipped slowly - no garnish necessary. Having said that you can’t go wrong with the world’s most perfect drink - a gin and tonic!” Kathy enthuses.

“I think the experience of drinking a gin and tonic is accentuated by a nice heavy glass, lots of ice, and a good wallop of gin so it comes through and you can taste that and not just the tonic. I’d also recommend a lovely sunset and a good mate to drink your gin with!”

Valencia GlassesAnthropologie Pipiry Tumbler

The Rocktail

Anthropolgie’s Sammi glass £8 each, Pipiry tumbler £10 each, Valencia Glass Set £24 for set of 4. Brighton Gin £22 for 350ml, £37.50 for 700ml. 

Don't Forget The Food

“Pairing with gin with food is brilliant!” explains Kathy. “Make yourself some Brighton Gin  gravlax a few days before your World Gin Day celebrations - use Nigella Lawson’s simple and delicious method. You can also serve gin with cheese – it sounds unlikely, but it works! And finish off with a gin and tonic cake or a gin and lime cheesecake. Lush!”

If you’re in Brighton then pop in to one the five Real Patisserie bakeries and you’ll find their gin and lime cake made using Brighton Gin! Alternatively, check out Bakedin’s  brilliant gin and tonic cupcake kit featuring a recipe from none other than Michel Roux OBE – each kit contains everything you need to make that will help you whip up a batch of 12 zesty homemade gin and tonic cupcakes - just add limes, butter and eggs. 

Bakedin Gin Tonic Cupcake Kit

Bakedins’ Gin and Tonic Cupcake kit £20.


Looking for a clever way to thank your World Gin Day  party host, or perhaps a luxurious gift for your guests? Well look no further than Hearth & Heritage’s brilliant Gin and Tonic Letterbox Gift, which contains a mini bottle of gin, a tasty and beautifully packaged bar of Love Cocoa’s 70% cocoa dark chocolate flavoured with gin and tonic, and a lip smacking gin and tonic lip balm, no less! They also have a selection of gin and tonic themed bath and body products too. Alternatively, give the delicious gift of Brighton Gin with their brilliant ‘Twin Set’, which contains two super cute lollipops made with their delicious gin, and two mini bottles of Brighton’s finest. Cheers!

Hearth Heritage GT Letterbox

Gin Tonic

Gin and Tonic Letterbox Gift, £19. The Brighton Gin Twin Set £17. 

Don’t forget to tag @ToastLifeUK in all your World Gin Day celebrations – we love to see your photos!


Posted in Inspire Me

by Sophie Farrah
on on 07 June 2018

  g&t, gin and tonic, world gin day

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