Our story

How did a Canadian and a Brit come together to make gin in Abingdon?

Abingdon Gin started as an idea in a cramped Hong Kong apartment where partners, Ben Blackledge and Janice Hewitt, began dabbling in distilling with the aim of creating a truly sippable gin.

Ben, who was working as an airline pilot at the time, would bring botanicals back from layovers around the world, experimenting with recipes and cuts using a tiny copper still.

“We weren’t living right in the centre of Hong Kong. Our village was pretty out of the way, and it was hard to get a decent drink.

“We discovered that we could bring together some really interesting botanicals from the furthest corners of the world and combine them to make some really tasty gins – admittedly though there were some howlers along the way!

When they moved to Abingdon, they found a thriving town without any craft distillery so decided to take on the challenge.

“Abingdon is a hidden gem – lovely parks, on the Thames and plenty of pubs! It was definitely moving onwards and upwards with lots of trendy bars coming in which in turn is bringing in a younger crowd.

“We’re grateful to add our gin to the community in Abingdon. It has a rich history and is full of active, sociable people who enjoy a drink in the pub or at home in the garden. We’re happy to contribute to that in our own way.”  

Nearly 100 batches, 7 methods and 1 year later, Abingdon Gin is opening its doors.

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