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Dorset hotelier creates award-winning gin

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Dorset hotelier creates award-winning gin
Written by:

A Dorset hotelier who created an artisan gin that has been named one of the best in the world intends to continue his day job.

Lukasz Dwornik, general manager at the Christchurch Harbour hotel, and Martin Jennings, former wine development specialist at Matthew Clark, came up with the formula for the premium Pothecary gin after becoming dissatisfied with the G&Ts they were served in their local pub.

After 18 months of development work, based in Jennings’ spare bedroom in Bournemouth, the pair came up with the recipe that won a double gold award at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition.

“Our success took us completely by surprise,” Dwornik told The Caterer. “We entered the competition simply to introduce our gin to the market and find out how it would be received.”

Pothecary gin is based on five botanicals – tilia flowers for smoothness, lavender for aroma, lemon zest for freshness, mulberries for balance and juniper, the dominant gin flavouring. The name indicates that the ingredients also have medicinal benefits.

Dwornik said that Pothecary is now available in around 40 hotels and restaurants in Dorset and Hampshire, including Chewton Glen, the Pig group of hotels and Rick Stein in Sandbanks, and 10 retail outlets. Its international success has created growing interest, with numerous inquiries being received daily.

As a result, Jennings is now working full time for Soapbox Spirits, the company set up to produce Pothecary and new manufacturing premises are now being sought in the Christchurch area. However, Dwornik, who has worked for Harbour Hotel Group – the owner of Christchurch Harbour hotel – for four years, said he would remain in hotel management.

“I am passionate about hospitality, and having studied at Lausanne, I don’t intended to give up what I’m doing,” he explained.

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