Greenalls Gin, Britain's Oldest Distillers Share Their Gin Wisdom

TOAST.Life talks gin with Britain’s oldest distillers

Toast.Life chats to Greenall’s Gin Master Distiller Joanne Moore - one of the few female gin masters in the world - to hear more about Greenall’s illustrious 250-year history and to get her top tips for serving gin in style at home

Gin lovers of the world rejoice as World Gin Day  returns for its tenth year on Saturday 9 June 2018! The aptly named World Gin Day  is a global celebration of all things gin, organised by everyone’s favourite gin swigging primate and super star gin blogger: Gin Monkey.  The idea is simple - get people together all around the world with a legitimate excuse to drink gin, whether it’s in a cocktail, G&T or neat. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Recent years have seen the popularity of gin explode and today’s market is rammed with beautifully packaged and beautiful tasting new craft gins, but some distilleries have been shaking their gin thing for far longer than the recent boom in this juniper-laced booze. Greenall’s has been enjoyed for over some staggering 250 years by gin lovers everywhere; hand crafted by Britain’s oldest distillers, Greenall’s gin recipe was created by Thomas Dakin back in 1761 and remains completely unchanged from the original. This closely guarded secret behind their delicious gin has only ever been known by seven master distillers, and Joanne Moore is one of them. 

“I often describe myself as an accidental distiller in that I never actually set out to become a distiller!” laughs Joanne, who has held the prestigious title of Master Distiller at Greenall’s since 2006.

“My journey began when I started working for G&J Distillers straight after completing my degree in Biochemistry - I worked in the quality lab testing raw materials and finished product initially, but I’ve always had a creative streak in me. I was fascinated by the world of botanicals and enjoyed playing around with flavour combinations to the extent that I discovered a talent for creating gins. This was recognized by the company in 2006 when I was appointed their seventh Master Distiller!” 

Joanne Moore

With an impressive history of over 250 years, Greenall’s is quite simply the original London Dry Gin. It was first created back in 1761 to provide consumers with a quality gin, and it has therefore been the benchmark ever since. Each batch is expertly handcrafted with 100% British wheat and infused with handpicked botanicals from around the world, including wild Tuscan juniper berries, delicate Moroccan coriander and zesty Spanish lemon peel. Despite its illustrious heritage, Greenall’s is today one of the fastest growing gins in the world and is served in over 140 countries – a testament to the ever-increasing rise in gin consumption worldwide.

"Gin has captured a younger generation who want something different to drink – they appreciate the complexity of flavour as well as the back stories, the people and the craft behind the brands” explains Joanne.

“Gin has also given rise to the popularity in the cocktail culture, where even the simple G&T has been transformed to showcase the appropriate garnish and mixer which bring out the very best attributes of the gin”

Flora Dora Pink


Greenalls Martini Greenalls

To ensure Greenall’s  continuing popularity and already impressive longevity, Joanne has kept the brand ahead of the curve by creating three new ‘expressions’ to join Greenall’s Original London Dry Gin; these are Greenall’s Extra Reserve, Greenall’s Sloe Gin and Greenall’s Wild Berry, which is infused with British blackberries and raspberries and a must-have behind the bar when entertaining this summer.

“We continue to do what we do best and that is distilling a great tasting quality liquid to the highest standards.  At the same time, I am very mindful of macro trends in general and associated flavour trends and do try to choose trends that will complement the true essence of gin, not overpower it” she explains. 

“Flavoured gin serves a purpose in that it opens new areas of development so that we can continue to be at the forefront of trends and innovation. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but if all gins were the same I don’t think we would have seen the rise in popularity of gins that we have experienced in recent years. That said I do think as an industry we should perhaps create further classifications or segments within the gin definitions, so that it sends a clearer message to consumers and allows them to choose in a more informed way” 

Somehow the expression ‘Mother’s Ruin’ doesn’t seem to fit Greenall’s deliciously pink Wild Berry gin – the bright vibrant colour combined with flavours of summer fruits and berries couldn’t seem further from anyone’s supposed ‘ruin’ – mother’s or otherwise.

“That phrase is linked to Hogarth’s painting of Gin Lane in 1751 that shows a mother more interested in drinking gin, so she drops her child over the side of the steps into a stone cellar!” explains Joanne.

“I’d like to think we’ve moved on a lot since those days – the quality of gin certainly has – and I think we’re all much more aware that it’s important to enjoy any alcoholic drink responsibly. We certainly always encourage people to drink in moderation – it’s by far the best way to appreciate good gin!” 

WB Tonic Hiball

As well as a plethora of fashionably flavoured gins flooding the market, another tasty trend that is currently sweeping the nation – and a great one for experimenting with at home – is garnishes. Sure, a slime of lemon or lime is always welcome, but how about a basil leaf? A slice of cucumber? Or even a wedge of grapefruit?

“Garnishes are important not just for flavour, but also because we tend to live our live in a more obvious visually appealing way – Instagram and the popularity of other social media sites has proven this as we look to photography our drinks, our foods, our holidays, etc” explains Joanne.

“I like to use a dehydrated citrus wheel so it’s not overtly citrus but allows the mature notes of the gin to shine. In terms of mixers this market has also upped its game in recent years, so it’s worth trying those too to find what your taste buds like. It doesn’t always have to be tonic either – you could try flavored sparkling water, ginger ale or even juices” 

So go forth and experiment! And with World Gin Day just around the corner, well, it would be rude not to, and to help you celebrate in style here are Joanne’s top tips for serving gin at home like a pro.

Master Distiller Joanne's Top Tips for Serving Gin at Home 

  • KEEP IT COOL : Gin is very stable and typically has a shelf life of years. If you don't have any ice about keep your gin in the fridge so it's served chilled at least - no one likes a warm G&T!

  • TOP TONIC. Distillers put a lot of time, passion and effort into distilling gin, so cheap tonics can really ruin the experience of a good G&T. I suggest always trying to match your tonic to the gin.

  • STIR IT UP. It’s important to mix the gin and tonic to avoid the layering of flavours. Mixing allows the two to marry together and complement each other

  • ICE ICE BABY. Your glass should be filled with lots of ice cube - too much ice doesn’t dilute gin but keeps it perfectly chilled. This dulls the effect of alcohol in your mouth, meaning the drink is more pleasant to taste.

  • GO FORTH AND GRARNISH. Where possible, I recommend matching garnishes to gin to enhance the experience of that recipe. For example, I like matching Greenall's Wild Berry gin with a fresh berry garnish, and a simple lime slice with Greenall's The Original.

For more from Greenall’s visit  For more on World Gin Day visit and don’t miss Toast.Life’s Inspire Me guide to celebrating World Gin Day at home, over on TheEDIT now. 


Posted in Spotlight

by Sophie Farrah
on on 09 June 2018

  g&t, gin, gin and tonic

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