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03 Aug 2017

Waitrose Launches First Gin Created by Customer

Espirit d'Ete gin

Waitrose has launched its first ever gin created by a customer. The Espirit d’Été Gin (£39/70cl) uses the winning blend from a gin-making competition and the batch of 200 bottles is available from Waitrose Cellar from this week.

Guests at the Waitrose Drinks Festival were invited to join a gin masterclass with distillers Audemus Spirits and take part in the competition. Experimenting with various botanicals, attendees created their own versions of the spirit. The 30 gins created were then judged by a panel of experts including Waitrose category manager Anne Jones and Waitrose Cellar buyer, Xenia Irwin MW. The blend, made by Laura Parton and Joe Blenkinsop from South Woodford, London, was chosen as the overall winner.

Xenia Irwin MW, says: "We were really happy with the results from our first ever gin competition and are very proud to be selling the winning blend, which is a truly delicious gin. Between the competition in September 2016 and now, a lot of hard work has gone into bringing this gin to market. Espirit d’Été uses botanicals including juniper, galangal, orange and bergamot, making a simple and well-balanced gin. It’s an exciting time for artisanal spirits with consumer interest at an all-time high and it’s been a fun project to be a part of.'

Laura, who works as a solicitor in the City of London, says: "We were incredibly surprised and flattered to have been selected as the winners of the Waitrose Drinks Festival gin competition.  Both myself and my boyfriend are big gin fans, so to have our own gin being made and sold by Waitrose is fantastic. I hope people enjoy drinking it as much as we do."

Waitrose recently revealed that gin has overtaken whisky as its top-selling spirit and sales of local and regional gin have grown by 50% year on year.

Notes to Editors:

The gin can be found on here on Waitrose Cellar.



Bethan Davies
Communications Manager, Consumer
Direct line: 01344 825025
Press Office: 01344 825080
Blackberry: 07730 303817
Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 8YA

Waitrose has 355 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 65 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. 

Waitrose also exports products to 58 countries worldwide and has seven shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service,, as well as specialist online shops including for wine and for plants and flowers.  

In recent months, Waitrose has been awarded the much-coveted European-wide Compassion in World Farming 'Best Retailer Award', Soil Association's 'Best Organic Supermarket Award 2017' and The Drinks Business' 'Retail Buying Team of the Year Award'. 


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