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Ginterview: Amanda Baxter

Spirits Activation Manager, Berry Bros & Rudd.


















· Berry Bros and Rudd,No 3 Gin,Gin Whore

I often say choosing a favourite gin is like choosing between my children (which is why I don't have any).

What's your desert island gin & why?

No.3 Gin, of course! If you are on a desert island it's unlikely there are many other ingredients, and No.3 tastes great just on its own (chilled though!) Second to that, my own blend from the Ginstitute or anything distilled by Jamie Baxter.

I have many different favourite bars depending on the occasion.

What's your favourite venue for:

A. A Dry Martini & Date Night?

B. A Red Snapper & Brunch?

C. Gin & a party?

A. Has to be Dukes, each table feels private, each member of staff makes you feel special but only for one martini, two maximum at 100ml each!

B. Absolutely not, anything with tomato juice is a big no.

C. Too many places to list, last time I ended up on an impromtu "let your hair down" was Bourne & Hollingsworth. Love their tiny space and great DJ.

Which drinks professionals have inspired you & how?

So many! Andrea Montague inspired me to sign up to Jub Jub club in its time which opened up to me a world of masterclasses. Sean Ware's Callooh Callay breakfast cocktail menu opened my eyes to the fun to be had in drinks creation. Colin Dunn's showmanship inspired me in my role as product trainer. And since then an endless parade of talented, passionate, supportive people from other brands, bars and of course at Berry Bros & Rudd, who took a chance on me.

Do you have a favourite Gin Botanical? (Yes. Really.)

I do love pink grapefruit, as a botanical and a garnish.

No. 3 Gin

Photo by Lucie England Duce

If you were a gin or a gin cocktail which would you be and why?

Army & Navy - gives the impression it'll be a stern drink but its simple, balanced and fun.

Angus Winchester says olives are the devil's testicles. Thoughts?

Agreed, the big juicy green 'queen' olives i can just about do but keep them out my drink.

Which gin has your favourite packaging?

Tough question, Rock Rose pottery bottles are pretty cool.

Do you have a preferred tonic?

BTW, i love both the philosophy of letting the gin flavour come through the tonic but also by making it a syrup it is better for the environment, less throwing away of tiny bottles.

What's your favourite trade event?

Imbibe I guess, but if anyone would like to send me to Tales of the Cocktail I can reassess that answer... anyone?

What's your favourite food to pair with gin?

Back in 2012 Matt Fairhurst paired his winning No.3 Gin cocktail with smoked salmon - that was an awesome call.

How did you get into the Gin industry?

Being persuasive and persistent and using every contact. Mike Pulvertaft at Martin Millers Gin took a chance on me, later that year Berry Bros & Rudd did the same, letting me run with an undefined job description and I am still here over 4 years later.

What do you love most about your job?

The people - who I train in bars and who create amazing drinks, who I present to and who chose to learn, and drink less but better, my team who have supported my ideas along the way.

And the worst bits?

The travel - you think its glamorous staying in hotels, eating out, but after weeks on the road I just want to get back to my flat and home cooked food.

If you could share a martini with anyone who would it be?

"I'd like to have had the time to share a martini with Dick Bradsell, we chatted in Gerry's a few times."

No. 3 Gin Martini

Do you have any recommended reads for gin lovers?

Diffords Guide to Gin is an excellent place to start.

What are your Gin goals?

Hearing people ask for No.3 Gin "by number" is always pretty cool, getting it in every bar in the top 100 UK maybe.

What advice do you have for aspiring Gin professionals?

Learn from everyone you can and be persistent if this is your passion.

What's your pet Gin industry hate?

Gin that does not taste predominantly of juniper!

If you aren't drinking Gin what is your tipple?

Whisky, tequila, beer... I also co-host a wine club called Wine Diners meeting most months.

What's going to be the next big gin trend?

(Unfortunately) probably crazier and crazier flavours.

Where can I send readers to find you online?

Berry Bros & Rudd

Get tickets to The Gin Whore Tour - enjoy tasting 4 gins & plenty of giggles at a venue near you!