BEHIND THE BATCHES OF PINK PEPPER GIN
No XXV – For Mama Malabi
From crucial discussions about the intricate culinary perfection of hummus and malabi to magical midnight dance parties in Hamstead Heath, Mischa (AKA Mama Malabi) has been a friend of Miko’s for over a decade. Mischa’s sensitivity and gentleness is something rare and their combined soles has lead to a friendship drenched in whimsy, poetry and the eccentric.
No XXIV – Señor Paulo
Batch No XXIII – Butchers, Spinks & Cox
Batch No XXII – Happy Days & Knights
Batch No XXI – Riké, Yvo et la Bande de la Soukra
Batch No XX – The Great Ham
Pip’s boyfriend Hamish (AKA Ham) is the wise and wonderful man behind ‘The Great Ham‘ batch. Our team of 3 wouldn’t be able to function without the love and support of the people around us, and Ham provides both by the bucket load. Always going above and beyond; he’s a creative genius when it comes to creating cocktails, provides outstanding gin chat at trade shows and champions sharing the Audemus love on the drink menus at his array of cocktail bars. Most importantly Ham is the absolute backbone of support to Pip.
He never takes life too seriously – you’ll always find him with a grin on his face and he possesses an infectious can-do attitude (which is probably down to the slug of Pink Pepper Gin he often pops into his coffee). We all love The Great Ham.
Batch No XIX – The Wicked Stepmother
Batch No XVIII – A Smile at Shakespeare’s
Batch No XVII – Vera’s Chocolate Cake
This Batch is dedicated to Bob’s Nan, Vera. And more specifically, her Chocolate Cake, which is officially ranked (in the family at least) as the No.1 Sponge in the World.
Since he was a child, no visit to his Nan was complete without an entire cake having been prepared. For longer stays, two cakes are required. The matriarch of the family, Vera keeps the secrets of her recipe close to her chest, and nobody else knows exactly how she manages to make the sponges so light, or the icing just the right balance between the bitterness of the cocoa, and the sweetness of the chocolate. But she manages perfection every time.
Now a nonagenarian, Vera has always been her own harshest critic. She worries (as only a grandmother can) that the cake isn’t quite as good as the last one, and she apologises repeatedly for her self-perceived failure. She’s wrong on each occasion of course, but the ritual of apology is as much a part of the Chocolate Cake as the cup of tea that accompanies the first slice.
Our love and thanks go to Vera – for always being such an amazing Nan, and a simply incredible Cake Maker!
Batch No XVI – Uran & the E.L.S. Allstars
At Audemus, we’re a rather slim team of three… Well, officially, at least. Behind the scenes, there are many partners we work with who ensure we’re able to deliver the best possible product under the best possible conditions. The closest of these partners is undoubtedly our friends at ELS; a family-run independent bottler and logistics company about 1km away from the distillery. Whether in the offices or on the production line, everyone on the team has almighty patience, heart and love in everything they do – and without them, there is no way we could do what we do.
It was in the early days when we were bottling the first commercial batch of Pink Pepper Gin (regrettably called Batch No. II: Pepper Flip) that Uran, the head of the production line handed us the first bottle of the line for us to stamp it. At this moment we realised the importance of the people who made what we do possible. And it was at this moment we decided to dedicate every batch to someone important to us.
Merci mes amis.
Batch No XV – Pipian Time
Nicknames are something of a theme chez Audemus, and this is a special one! The life of a brand rep can be amazing – meeting countless people and visiting some amazing places. And it’s so much more enjoyable when that time can be shared with a fellow rep!
So Ian counts himself lucky to have met the marvellous Pip Johnson, (the ‘Pip’ of ‘Pipian’). At first they shared the Pink Pepper Love with some of London’s finest bars and restaurants, and when Pip moved on to promote other spirit brands she and Ian continued to do ‘the rounds’ together when they could. The phrase ‘Pipian Time’ was born, and a wonderful friendship quickly bloomed.
Often referred to as ‘the better half’ of Pipian, Pip has an unrivalled skill at winning new clients, a sharp sense of humour and style, and without her impeccable sense of direction, Ian would be continually lost on the streets of London.
Long live Pipian Time!
Batch No XIV – Ma Fleur
Batch No XIII – Bertie Mordecai
Batch XIII – Grey Beard’s Grin
Grey Beard is a discreet maestro of the chemical arts, and accompanied the young future distiller in understanding the technical basis for his work. He pinched at the veil of mystery that surrounded distillation – and although the fruits of early experiments were far from palatable, they were a great foundation of knowledge.
Grey Beard’s genius showed itself from when he was just an ankle-biter, he was known to have pushed experiments to the very edge; from diverting stinking gases throughout the house to almost blowing off his limbs playing with chemical explosives. His curiosity is infectious, though if only his intellect were too!
Batch No XI – Nimrod & Bijli’s
Bijli and Nimrod are two particularly fine and pointless dogs of Ian and Miko’s acquaintance. They hail from the darkest recess of Devon and provide Warm Welcome and Bed-warming duties whenever Ian visits their reclusive owners. Bad Dog Nimrod – a Rottie – and Bijli The Staffy are both rescue dogs and were originally brought in to act as guard dogs. Ian can absolutely confirm that they are unfit for purpose in this respect, having been thoroughly licked, sat on and hugged by both dogs. Nimrod’s only real charm is his habit of holding hands with total strangers. Bijli’s charm is her peculiar form of beauty and her proper Smile of Happiness.
Batch No X – Dainty Mo’s
Batch No IX – Ali’s Faff
Miko and Ali have known each other for about 28 years – other than their sense of fashion, hairstyles and the fact neither sport nappies anymore – not much has changed. Growing up together it would be impossible to disentangle their stories, though their paths have separated them by several thousand kilometres, they are brothers with all the beauty this brings.
Ali was visiting Cognac when this batch was made – and was there to assist with the botanical blending (yes, he knows the secret ingredients!), it is only too fitting to name this batch after him and one of his most endearing characteristics – his immeasurable ability to faff about!
Batch No VIII – Toad’s Tipple
Batch No VII – Brew de la Barde
You probably don’t know it, but Audemus Spirits was not always based in the heart of Cognac. For the first 6 months of our rather experimental life – the distillery was cradled in the empty out-houses belonging to Miko’s adopted Charentais family, the Loloums.
Situated in a little ‘hameau’ called La Barde, a few kilometres out of Cognac, Miko lived comfortably in their tiny pigeon house and set out to distill anything he could get his hands on; from the roses under his window to the capers in the fridge. The generosity of this intrepid family made the beginnings of the Audemus adventure possible – and continue to provide free sets of hands, winter raclettes, and all of the love and support needed.
Batch No VI – Maaa’s Melange
Perhaps the greatest impact Miko’s mum, Nici, had and has is to instill, encourage and accompany a sense of eccentricity and unrelenting individuality in her son. It was with her that Miko first started experimenting with the spirited arts, as he helped his mum make fruit liqueurs from old family recipes. She pushed him to follow his childhood dream and his passion for spirits through to fruition. If it weren’t for this unquestioning support and love you would not be holding the bottle you have in your hands.
Despite her Polish roots, Nici’s inability to hold her drink is a defining trait. For better or for worse (most arguably the latter), this genetic trait was also passed down to both of her kids. Thanks Maaa!
Batch No V – Le Batch de Pazu
Michel, AKA Pazu, is Miko’s dad – the man who opened the eyes of the future distiller to the love of all good things. From fine Cognac to spicy harissa or olive oil to intrepid wines – a love of food, taste and ritual were passed down with the utmost importance. Giving nothing but love, and sharing his passions as a natural way of life and living, le bon vivant influenced Miko more than he can imagine.
As a retired dentist in Australia, he can be found jumping around the country (usually in the best wine and foodie regions), doing replacements in surgeries for a few weeks at a time. He now has a roady lifestyle and is accompanied by Maaa (see below), Pumpkin, the family’s 18-year-old Jack Russell and his beloved Nespresso machine.
Batch No IV – The Flea’s Share
The Flea (or Puce, in French) is Miko’s little big sister, Julia. She is known as Puce as, despite her petite stature, has the tremendous energy and daring of a warrior combined with the elegance of a Hollywood movie star. A pocket rocket in its greatest manifestation. Her stubborn goat mind-set means she achieves everything she sets out to achieve, all in her own time and her own beautiful way. She is the warmth and love of family – and carries home in her handbag which never leaves her side.
As an avid Audemus supporter, her shelves are filled with our creations, and due to her increasingly modern nomad lifestyle she leaves valuable depositories of these spirits in her trail. Visit more, Puce!
Batch No III – Bob’s Batch
This was the first time naming our gin became a tradition, and for good reason too. It was produced in honour of the man who would go on to become known as Mr Pink Pepper, Boblem Lopes (aka Ian Spink). After having met Miko, and becoming close friends, Bob became a driving force of encouragement and energy in the quest to spread the Pink Pepper Love and grow the business. Initially, Bob took Pink Pepper to the UK with the aim of landing a distribution deal; little did he know at this time that he would go on to embody the spirit of our brand.
Boblem is generosity and kindness in its human incarnation – opening his heart and home without question. For Miko, he is a rock of support, holding him up through the full myriad of life’s challenges, from existential crises of identity and purpose, through to stabilising the funnel when pouring distillates. Miko would be a semi-functioning humanoid at best without Boblem.