Perola's Makers: Bob Fowkes from Brockmans Gin (english)

Brockmans Gin is the fruity-berry premium gin from London, which convinces with botanicals like blue and blackberry as well as coriander. With the black bottle and a sophisticated, modern marketing strategy, the gin not only swims in a different direction from classic London dry gin in terms of taste. In addition to its fruity notes, it stands out from the steadily growing number of gins in particular because of ist smoothness, which invites you to enjoy it pure. Brockmans Gin also released a book with cocktails for every occasion and lots of information about their product: ‚The Black Book Of Gin Cocktails‘. Bob Fowkes is co-founder of the Brockmans brand and talks to us about carrot cocktails, the brand name and the 'press for gin' campaign which is so popular in England!

Perola: When I do gin tastings with Brockmans Gin sometimes people compare its taste with the Pink Gins or other berry gins. What are the strongest differences in taste between those gins and Brockmans?

Bob: Brockmans has a more complex taste than some simplier strawberry gins and a smoother texture, so that’s because of the number of botanicals, where we have berries (in which the top note is blueberry and blackberry). Brockmans also has lemon and orange peels used in the distillation. Last one is Koriander. And then the range of other Botanicals follow those really. So the difference is the complexity between Brockmans and the pink gins.

Perola: Last year Brockmans had the 10 years anniversary, right?

Bob: Right.

Perola:  In this time you optimized the Brand and the Product in terms of the design and the taste. Sometimes people who tried the gin also asked if there were other editions of Brockmans Gin (with another direction of taste). For the future, could you imagine to develope more flavors/versions beside the classical Brockmans Gin?

Bob: No, we think we made the best gin in the world. It would be very difficult to make another one. Our focus is on the taste that we have, which we love. We are building the brand in lots of countries. That’s the kind where we put in our efforts, so in offering in new countries, that they can enjoy Brockmans as well.

Perola: So there won’t be any other versions of Brockmans Gin…?

Bob: You can never say never, but I can honestly tell you that we are not working on anything at the moment and probably won’t be in the next three years.

Perola: Whats does Brockmans Gin make so smooth and easy to drink it pure?

Bob: It’s because of the recipe and the unique combination of the citrus elements with the coriander, combined with the blueberry and blackberry, which makes it so really smooth and easy to drink – this works very well. 

Perola: Your project ‚Press for Gin‘ is very successful in England and gets more and more popular even in Germany. Could you shortly explain what it contains and what it is about?

Bob: The theme ‘press for gin’ comes from the brand. Brockmans is not your normal expected London dry gin taste. So the idea behind the ‘press for gin’-concept is something surprising happening, something unexpected. As equal as the taste of Brockmans. We choose very interesting, nightvenous locations. So you press the button and a cocktail appears. In the course of an evening you probably have three or four cocktails and we combine that with wonderful taste experiences which are all based on food we prepared that’s based on all of the botanical within Brockmans like juniper or coriander or liquorice. So we reflect Brockmans and then we put on entertainment for example an acrobat, musicians and people who perform with fire. That’s the concept of ‘press for gin’ - something different happening what you don’t expect.

Perola: Why do you create anaroma of blueberries and blackberries that is not dominated by the aroma of juniper?

Bob: We are just getting the balance to the berries, right? You know, we don’t want to make a heavy juniper gin. I don’t have a problem with juniper heavy gin, but there is a lot of people doing that. We found a little of consumers - probably today – who like less juniper in the gin and more emphasis or focus on the other notes.

Perola: There are lots of great cocktails with Brockmans Gin. What is the weirdest, most surprising Brockmans cocktail you ever had?

Bob: The weirdest cocktail I ever hadmaybe savory…I think I had a cocktail about 2 years ago and it was made with carrots.

Perola: Maybe you can remember the recipe?

Bob: I don’t know, I don’t…I didn’t like the taste so: deliberately forgotten. *laughs*

Perola: There is a effect that ice is killing aroma in gin and therefore some people from Germany are drinking lukewarm cocktails. In which way do you like Brockmans Gin the most? Nevertheless, do you cool the Gin or the Tonic down?

Bob: Ah really? No, I like to use a lot of ice in the Gin and Tonic. It keeps it cool longer. I always chill the Tonic. I think the ice helps open up the flavors of gin and the tonic, so I add good, large icecubes – they ‘re not easy to find. But I do not cool down the gin.

Perola: Where does the brand’s name „Brockmans“ come from?

Bob: A brock in English is like a brook or a small river. So most distilleries are built along a side a stream of water. So a Brockman is someone who actually manages or looks after the flow of water or that small river.

Perola: Which tonic water besides the Fever Tree Tonics are matching with Brockmans Gin? Do you have a favorite tonic or a tip what does also work with Brockmans?

Bob: Yeah, I personally like Fever Tree Original, but I also like Schweppes 1783 – the premium version of Schweppes if you have that in Germany.

Perola: Why did you choose this distillery for producing your spirit?

Bob: It’s because we liked the head distiller and they made very good gin and they were able to make it to the result that we wanted.

Perola: To my last question: You have got a very interesting marketing strategy. Brockmans has on the one hand a very classy and noble image but at the same time its provocative, dark, sexy and reminds me of the mood in a vintage burlesque club. What was the idea of that image basically? Why did you choose it for Brockmans Gin?

Bob: When we looked at how gin brands were expressing themselves, they were largely all about a English summer daytime imagery and we wanted to create a gin that was very different from what was that so we did actually…in Germany the gin is most typically at nighttime. So we started exploring the brand and taste to express that and really wanted to look a kind of speakeasy, jazz, soul-feel, nightclub-feel what we wanted in a luxurious way: I guess as you say a little bit of burlesque, a little bit of seduction as well. A very different expression from typical English gin.

If you want also to try a special Brockman's Cocktail with carrot juice - here you are:

What's Up Brock?

  • 5 cl Brockmans Gin
  • 2 cl Lejay Apricot Liqueur
  • 2,5 cl carrot juice
  • fresh coriander (optional)

 

Shake all ingredients and 5 fresh torn coriander leaves on ice and strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes. Garnish with a stem of carrot. 

 

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