Hackney Wick – home to warehouses, waterways, and more artists than you can shake a paintbrush at. And, since 2013, Butler’s Gin, one of London’s smallest and most innovative distilleries. From his tiny, spare workshop Ross William Butler and his trusty sidekick Taco the dog produce a beautiful small-batch, hand-crafted spirit.
In 2011, Ross (aka The Butler), a Hackney-Wick resident and designer with a nose for a new trend, ordered a reflux still from New Zealand and spent some quality time with a sackful of botanicals. Heavy on lemongrass and cardamom, his gin successfully marries these with coriander, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, fennel, lemon and lime. And as befits a small-scale craft distiller, Ross has created everything from scratch – even the bottle and label design.
To get your hands on some Butler’s Gin, try Borough Wines on Wilton Way, or give Ross a call about his next Drunch – drunken lunch – a boozy tour of east London’s canals aboard a boat laden with gin cocktails. Very much committed to his ‘hood (he’s also responsible for a Hackney Wick community website), Ross recommends using Butler’s Gin to mix into the appropriately named Love Thy Neighbour cocktail.
by Sally Schafer
Love Thy Neighbour
50ml Butler’s Gin
½ tsp dark berry jam from London Borough of Jam
½ bottle Raw Fiyah!
Shake gin and jam together vigorously and top with Raw Fiyah! – Hackney-made all-natural ginger beer. Repeat until you’ve made enough to share with the neighbours.