March 11 2019  |  Spirits & Tobacco

Women in Travel Retail cheered by London event

By Mary Jane Pittilla


Members of Women in Travel Retail learn about the art of gin distilling while sipping a City of London Gin and tonic

Two dozen women from brands, retailers and media in the UK travel retail scene gathered on February 28 at the City of London Distillery, the only gin distillery in the city’s ancient Square Mile, for a fun and informative evening.

The Women in Travel Retail event, which was sponsored by the distillery’s joint-venture partner Halewood Wines & Spirits, was an opportunity to learn about the art of gin distilling while sipping a City of London Gin and tonic.

During the Gin Craze in the 18th century, there was a gin distillery or gin shop in every street in the city, profiting from the exotic spices and citrus fruits arriving at the port of London. After the craze was stamped out, the distilleries closed down and for nearly 200 years there wasn’t a single gin distillery in the city. That was until the City of London Distillery opened in 2012.

“We were delighted to welcome the WiTR members to our unique distillery,” said Simon Roffe, Managing Director Global Travel Retail at Halewood Wines & Spirits.

“The growth of the premium craft gin business is very exciting and our City of London Gin brand is a classic example of demonstrating sense of place in the travel retail setting. It is fitting that the first travel retail listing for the brand was at London City Airport with Aelia and I am pleased to say that it is now appearing at selected locations across Europe and on several cruise ships and airlines.

“We are optimistic that the hands-on experience that our visitors enjoy at the City of London Distillery will soon be replicated within the travel retail channel with masterclasses, ginlabs, and so on.”

A raffle for two bottles of City of London Gin was held during the evening, which raised £125 (US$150), the first contribution to Friends International, WiTR’s charity of the year for 2019.

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