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Five minutes with Giles Fuchs, Gunner Cocktails

Published:  12 January, 2023

Jo Gilbert catches up with the owner of Agatha Christie’s favourite hotel on Burgh Island, about his gin and Gunner revolution.

I had my first Gunner at age 14 at a sailing club and was blown away by how deliciously refreshing it was as a ‘no-alc’ drink. But no one seems able to make it properly. A good Gunner should be equal measures of ginger beer and ginger ale with drops of Angostura bitters and lime. I loved the drink and knew there were many people like me who liked it, and others who didn’t know about it who would like it if they tried, particularly when you look at the move towards moderate drinking.

We started back in Feb with the Saint, the original no-abv version, followed in the summer by our Sinner with rum, and have had success with both with listings in places such as The Hurlingham Club, The Oxford Wine Company and Club Soda’s new London shop.

The idea for our newly launched Burgh Island gin came from the fact that we sell gin Martinis and G&Ts on an industrial level at the hotel. So we had to do our own gin, a traditional London Dry with angelica root, mallow root, gorse and borage, all taken from the island. The in-pot maceration and vapour infusion give bold flavours with some smoother and lighter elements on the nose, which makes it specifically the gin for the hotel’s Martini.

My father always said that any business has to work on the back of cigarette packet. These projects have been a labour of love, but there is plenty more to come. Our Gunner is how a Gunner should be. Now we’ve got the recipe, we can play with the Sinner versions. Next will be tequila and whisky. The possibilities are endless.