NB Gin returns to star-studded BRIT Awards party

BRIT AWARDS 16 Logo Black

NB Gin, the multi-award-winning premium spirit produced in North Berwick, has received an exclusive return invitation to the Sony Music BRIT Awards After Party in London on 24th February, where it will be served to the cream of world pop for the second year running.

The BRIT Awards is the British music industry’s biggest and glitziest night of the year, and with stars such as Adele, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber and Coldplay on this year’s nominee list, it should be one of the most hotly-contested nights in the event’s history.

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Brit Awards Sony After Party was one hell of a bash!

Brit Awards NB Gin

Our trip to London to serve NB Gin to the stars at the Brit Awards Sony After Party was, simply, an incredible experience!

We’re now back on the much quieter shores of North Berwick and back to normality after the craziness of last week. What a fantastic few days it was, and another exciting chapter in the NB Gin story.

So how did the party go down, we hear you ask! For NB Gin, it could not have gone any better. Around 150 bottles of our artisan gin was enjoyed by the music VIPs and we ourselves even found the time to let our hair down with the celebs!

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The Sony After Party was held at the famous SushiSamba in Heron Tower, London. Not long after the Brit Awards had finished at the O2 Arena, the stars started to arrive for the after show bash.

Rita Ora, Mark Ronson, Paloma Faith, Little Mix and Lisa Snowdon were just some of the big names who made their way to Herron Tower to relax… and enjoy an NB Gin or two, obviously.

We were struck by just how relaxed and informal the evening was. It had a very chilled out vibe with several bars dotted around the venue. Many of the VIPs were happy just hanging out and chatting after the high-octane performances of the show itself.

Of course, much of the chat was about Madonna’s mishap as she fell off the stage during her closing performance.

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The atmosphere was pegged up more than a few notches a couple of hours in however when Mark Ronson took to the decks for a surprise guest DJ slot, a move that had the 600-or so guests up on their feet and partying to some of his biggest hits.

For NB Gin, the sight of lots of happy people – many of whom were music royalty – enjoying our drink was a real honour. As producers, we don’t often get to see the reactions to our gin.

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We’re normally tucked away at our little distillery perfecting the next batch so it gave us a great sense of pride to see it take centre stage at a truly global event.

We’re told the event rolled on until after 6am but we were not quite that rock ‘n’ roll.

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Would we do it all again? Absolutely! What’s next for NB Gin? Well, there are one or two really big things happening for us over the next few months.

Make sure you like us on Facebook here, follow us on Twitter here and follow our NB Gin Blog for all the latest news and the occasional prize!

We’d also like to say a huge thank you to all of you for supporting us over the last few years. Your kind and encouraging words in the run to the Brit Awards made us feel on top of the world!

Chin chin!

#BRITs2015

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Gin – The drink at the centre of a revolution

NB Gin beach

When NB Gin was born, it was around the time of a new gin revolution in the UK and what has happened over the last two years has taken even the most enthusiastic gin lover a little by surprise.

It’s no longer a UK gin revolution, it’s a worldwide gin revolution and we’d like to think that from a beautiful little corner of the country in North Berwick, we’re doing our bit to help it roar on.

It seems that gin is the spirit on everyone’s lips… we couldn’t resist that little pun.

It’s not that gin ever really fell out of fashion as such. The beautiful, refreshing spirit has always had a passionate following but vodka has reigned supreme for decades. You could say that gin perhaps got lost in the super-marketing of other big spirits, namely vodka. Not now though. Gin is back and we’re glad to say it’s here to stay.

In fact, in a recent survey of London’s top bars, the majority of mixologists named gin as the most important spirit on the shelf and the one that most customers class as the ‘drink to be seen with’.

One of the biggest factors in the gin revolution is the changing drinking habits of the public.

Perhaps as a result of the huge success of the craft beer scene, people are now far savvier about drinking quality spirits rather than the mass-produced, heavily marketed options that flood the industry.

In short, drinkers place far more weight on quality than they do on marketing tactics and that bodes well for artisan and craft producers, like NB Gin.

As we’ve said before, for us it will always be about the quality of our product. We only ever produce in small batches of no more than 100 litres at a time. That way we can be absolutely certain that our gin is perfect every time.

The gin revolution shows no sign of slowing (or should that be sloe-ing?) and we feel quite honoured that our drink is one of the names mentioned by experts when talking about world-class artisan gin.

Cocktails have helped to make gin cool again too, especially in a time when no self-respecting bar would be without a mixologist who really knows his or her stuff.

Our very own mixologist and brand ambassador TJ Littlejohn from Bar In A Box loves to mix with gin and he even created three brand new NB Gin cocktails to wow the celebrity guests when we serve them our gin at the Brit Awards.

All this talk about ‘being in’ and trendy bars might lead you to think that this revolution is about style over substance. No way, we say! In fact, we’re pretty sure that anyone who has ever enjoyed a good quality gin and tonic will know that it’s all about what’s in the glass.

The fact that gin is on trend again is a mere side point to it being one of life’s little luxuries and we’re so happy to be part of it. Chin chin!

NB Gin to be served to world’s music industry at the BRITs after party!

BRITs Beyonce

NB Gin, the award-winning premium spirit produced in North Berwick, will soon be sampled by some of the biggest names in world pop, following an exclusive invitation to grace the tables at this year’s star-studded Sony Music BRIT Awards After Party in London on February 25.

The BRIT Awards is the UK’s biggest showcase for music talent and one of the most anticipated events in the global entertainment calendar. But when the stars really start to let their hair down is afterwards, with some of music’s most famous faces painting the town red well after the gong-fest.

And the most sought-after tickets in town will be to the Sony party, where pop icons such as Pharrell Williams and the members of One Direction are due to attend.

NB Gin will be the only brand of gin being served to the 600-strong guest list and will be joined by some of the most exclusive drinks brands available, such as Belvedere vodka.

NB Gin’s expert mixologist has created two unique cocktails to be served to party guests on the night, including the Bees Knees, made with honey and rosemary. Bottles of NB Gin will also be placed on every table, with tasting glasses alongside.

Vivienne Muir, director at NB Gin, says: “We are thrilled and honoured to be serving NB Gin at the biggest night in British music. To have been chosen from such a long list of other possible brands is the icing on the cake of what has been a fantastic year for us, and we cannot wait to let the music industry elite sample our very own handcrafted spirit.“

Morten Jensen, partner at Billetto UK Ltd, which is assisting with the drinks brands for the Sony event, says, “NB Gin was a natural choice for us. Its quality is second to none, making it perfect in cocktails but also delicious served neat with ice. And the chic bottle looks great. Our guests will only be served drinks worthy of this glittering event, and we are delighted to have NB Gin on the menu.”

NB Gin is produced by Vivienne and her husband Steve in a custom-made copper still at their micro-distillery in North Berwick, East Lothian. Using the London Dry Gin distillation process, it’s made from pure British grain spirit and a blend of eight botanicals, all of which have been meticulously selected to produce a smooth and balanced flavour which is not overly complicated.

Since its launch in October 2013, there has been overwhelming demand for the new spirit. It’s now being stocked in a long list of high-end hotels, bars, shops and restaurants across the country, from Aberdeen to London. And things are going well overseas too, with sales thriving in Spain, Germany and Denmark, and an agreement nearing the final stages with a distributor in the USA.

NB Gin was honoured with a silver medal in the Micro Distillery category at The Gin Masters 2014, just nine months after launch. It was the “clear winner” and “really stole the show” in a recent gin taste test of 11 different brands conducted by The Scotsman, being praised for having “a smooth, rounded palate with a fabulous long poised finish” and described as a “proper” gin.*

And it is described as “superb” by royal party planner Johnny Roxburgh, who has more than 33 years of experience in luxury event catering and party design. He has become one of NB Gin’s biggest fans and is already serving the artisan spirit to guests at high society events across the country

To help with increasing demand, Vivienne and Steve have upgraded their equipment and expanded their premises for the second time in a year to make sure that they’re geared up for more significant production. They have also launched a new website at www.nbgin.com

Gin and tonic: From Holland to India and all the way to London

NB Gin

If you’re anything like us, you’ll probably be sitting down at the end of a long week to a well-deserved gin and tonic right about now but have you ever thought about where it originated?

Okay, your thoughts might not be as consumed with gin as ours are, but it does have a fascinating story since it was first produced in the 1600s.

A chap named Sylvius de Bouve is credited with the development of what we know as gin today in the 16th Century, although it was probably rather less refined than the spirits we enjoy now.

Mr de Bouve – a Dutch physician – wanted to create a spirit with strong medicinal qualities and it’s well documented that it was believed to help circulation and other ailments. The juniper berry had been used as a medicine for centuries before Mr de Bouve got his hands on it and records also show it was even used in the fight against the plague!

There’s some debate about just how gin became such a massive hit in London and subsequently throughout the UK but many gin experts believe that it was brought back by English soldiers fighting in the Dutch War of Independence in the 1580s.

By the early 18th Century, gin was at the centre of a spirits revolution in London and its popularity explosion had politicians worried. Public drunkenness, illegal distilling and general unruly behaviour lead Parliament to slap the drink with huge taxes.

But what about the tonic, we hear you say. You can’t enjoy a refreshing G&T without the tonic! Okay, okay. We’re just getting to that bit.

Ah yes, the ‘T’ in G&T has an equally fascinating story and it centres around quinine from the bark of the cinchona tree. Europeans discovered the value of the plant in fighting malaria during the 17th Century, after the Spanish had conquered parts of South America.

But how did these two drinks marry into the delicious couple we all enjoy today? Well, we have India to thank for that, or British soldiers stationed in India to be precise.

Around the 1820s the soldiers began to add gin to their tonic ration, why not, and as time moved on this became pretty much THE only way to enjoy your tonic. The G&T was born.

It should also be mentioned that there were health reasons behind the ration of tonic. It was seen as a vital tool in the fight against malaria in the colony and gin was added to cut through the bitterness. Sounds like as good an excuse as any…

From fighting the plague and malaria, inebriating war-ravaged soldiers and worrying Parliament to once again being the drink at the centre of a London spirits revolution, our old friend gin has had quite a history.

And you thought it was just a pleasant drink to enjoy at the end of a long week. Have a wonderful weekend! Chin chin!