Family revives historic London gin brand

Jun 30, 2017by Annie Hayes

One of London’s oldest gin brands, Nicholson Gin, has been revived by direct descendants of the original founders – cousins Nicholas Browne and Tim Walker.

Established in 1736 with distilleries in Clerkenwell and Three Mills, Bow, the brand came to the fore in the 1830s under the guidance of brothers William and John Nicholson, said to be "pioneers" of the London Dry Gin style. True to the original family recipe, Nicholson Original comprises ten botanicals: juniper berries, coriander, angelica root, orange and lemon citrus peel, cinnamon, orris root, cassia bark, nutmeg and liquorice. The resulting gin is juniper-led, with citrus notes, "a touch of spice", and a "long, dry and balanced" finish. The new bottle and label design were developed from resources found in the company archives. Nicholson Gin featured prominently in the cocktail books of the 1920s and 1930s, including The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails and The Savoy Cocktail Book, by Harry Craddock. Craddock's Martini recipe comprised 1 part French vermouth, 1 part Nicholson Gin and 3 dashes of absinthe; shaken well and strained into a cocktail glass.