Charles experimented and obsessed for years in his quest to create the highest quality gin on the market and his effort certainly did not go to waste. In fact, the recipe for Tanqueray gin is so top secret that only a handful of people across the globe have been entrusted with it today, and they are notoriously sought-after party guests for that very reason.
Unfortunately, Charles passed away in 1865 and the booming business was handed over to his son, Charles Waugh Tanqueray. While Tanqueray was always viewed as a luxury brand, it became increasingly popular across the British Colonies and stocked in the best bars and grocers under Charles Jnr’s careful hand. One of the colonies that Tanqueray had a strong relationship with was the U.S. In fact, during the years of prohibition, Charles and his team found new ways to ship bottles of gin to the U.S, which involved floating cases to the islands off the coast where they could be discreetly collected. If the gin was so good that people would go to those great lengths to drink it, it’s no surprise then that Tanqueray was enjoyed by some of history’s greats, including none other than Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.
As a luxury spirit it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine, Tanqueray also had its fair share of tough times; but you know what they say, it’s the challenges in life that define us. Whilst the distillery remained in London for a long time, World War II saw it bombed and mostly destroyed, bar the oldest still. ‘Old Tom’ as it was known is still used today at Tanqueray’s new home in Cameron Bridge, Scotland.Our story begins with Charles Tanqueray, the son of a clergyman who traded a church for a still. But this wasn’t just any old still, this was the very still that would set in motion the production of a superior gin. And this wasn’t just any man; this was Charles Tanqueray, a man whose name became synonymous with simple perfection, and over 180 years of people enjoying his gin is testament to that.