“I’m 33 and I've been in the on-trade for 11 years in London working in hospitality. I’ve always been into my spirits and wine, and I’ve done countless distillery and winery tours around the world over the years on holiday. When the pandemic hit, it gave me the push I needed to start something new. Cue Abingdon Distillery,” says Jordan Morris, Founder, and Owner of Abingdon Distillery.
In a mere span of two years, Abingdon Distillery is already racking up awards, appealing to experts and drinkers alike.
Housed in Oxfordshire, the distillery currently houses six craft gins, each of them unique in their own way. Amidst a busy day, we were able to catch up with Jordan, who gave us a peek into the ins and outs of Abingdon Distillery.
According to you, what makes a great spirit?
Time and effort are big players in getting a spirit right, plus using the right quality ingredients. I’m not a fan of artificial flavours and colours or sweeteners. We don’t use these at our distillery. We want to bring truly hand-crafted spirits to the market that people can enjoy. We are honest about what they are made from.
What would be your typical day at work?
It's the classic distilling or bottling and labeling usually. It's that simple ;) And loads of emails as well!
What excites you the most about your brand?
Our Cask Series range of barrel-aged gins. These products fascinate me. I started just over a year ago with mini 1 litre casks with different washes, and we have released 3 barrel-aged gins this year. Each one is made using our London Dry gin as the base. The difference in the gins that come out of each barrel is amazing. The flavour profiles are something you can’t get from just distilling alone in a still or infusing with fruit. Sampling the gins as they age in the barrel over the year is so much fun.
Jordan Morris with the Abingdon London Dry Gin, courtesy of Abingdon Distillery
What spirits do you consider your flagship spirits and why?
Our London Dry is our flagship gin. Not only was it our first to make, but it's the base gin that forms our cask-aged gin range. It is very juniper-forward, so it stands up well after time in the barrel.
Are you working on something new right now?
Yes, we are always playing around every few weeks when we have a bit of spare time. We have a new barrel-aged gin that will be coming out in 2022 as well as a fruit-based gin.
Where can we find your gins?
Currently, our spirits are found in shops around Oxfordshire & we are stocked in most of Abingdon's bars & pubs. Master of Malt also stocks our entire range.
Do you have a distillery tour/tasting room experience set in place? What can guests expect from it?
Our distillery isn’t open to the public yet. We have been searching endlessly for a new site for the last 8 months where we hope to open a tasting room and bar with mini-tours. Hopefully, the right property pops up soon and we can open up for the start of 2022.
What are some of the spirits you have on your personal shelf?
I’m a big whisky and rum fan, so I’ve got a decent collection I’ve built up over the years of limited-edition releases. My newest addition is the Lagavulin 11yr Offerman Edition, which is finished in Guinness casks. That’s for a special occasion.
Can you share some of your favorite cocktail recipes?
Our Pink Negroni uses our Port barrel-aged Gin and is a great summery twist with red fruit notes.
- 30ml Abingdon Port Gin
- 30ml Bianco Vermouth
- 10ml Campari
Build it up in a glass and garnish it with pink grapefruit.
We also have a play on the Bermuda Yacht Club classic with our newly launched Madeira barrel-aged gin.
- 40ml Abingdon Madeira Gin
- 10ml Sweet Vermouth
- 10ml Apricot Liqueur
- Dash of orange bitters.
Shake with ice and strain into a coupe, garnish with a lemon twist.
Abingdon Distillery gins, courtesy of Abingdon Distillery
What are some drinks trends you see in the near future?
Barrel-aged gins are on the rise, which suits us well as we started our cask-aged range of gins almost 12 months ago now. Rum is gathering momentum, especially in the spiced category.
Lastly, what are you drinking right now?
At the moment I have Raasay's new single malt which is very good, and I’ve just bought another bottle of Discarded Banana Rum for my rum-fashioneds.