GinTing is a tropical paradise in a bottle. Read our interview with founder Kris Hindley to hear its story.
The first line of GinTing’s brand mantra reads, ‘This is your life, do what you love and do it more often’ and, having had the pleasure of speaking to Kris Hindley, one of the gin’s founders, we can officially confirm that he’s a man who leads by example.
The idea to create a simple tropical gin was born in the summer of 2015 – a twinkle in the sun-dazzled eyes of Kris and his wife Louise as they relaxed in a beach bar on the famously laidback Cornish coastline, where they spend most weekends. Both gin lovers, the Hindley’s had noticed that the bar offered a bewildering array of the stuff, not to mention the myriad accompanying garnishes.
They decided they wanted to take things back to basics. The minor issue – that neither of them had any experience in making gin – didn’t worry the easy-going duo too much, it was more important for them to follow their dream, as a cheerful sounding Kris explained: “My wife is a teaching assistant and I’ve got a manufacturing business, so making GinTing was completely a ‘life’s too short, let’s try something else’ kind of idea.
“We felt like the idea of gin had got lost and gone away from what it should be – a simple amazing drink. “So, we thought, ‘Why don’t we try and make something that you don’t need to add anything to?’ A gin that you don’t need to put fruit in, or peppercorns, or whatever else it is that they suggest you put in it – if you don’t want to.
“We wanted to take it back to basics and make a refreshing gin that people can have, whether they’re at home or away, without having to worry about buying extra ingredients.”
It’s safe to say that they succeeded, GinTing is exactly that. The gin has a subtly sweet flavour, making it ideal to drink on its own yet, at the same time, it could make the perfect ingredient in a tropical cocktail.
“It’s refreshing enough that you can have it with ice and tonic but a lot of people, at the gin festivals we go to, add fresh passion fruit and mango to it,” says Kris. “Another thing we do is put a slice of pink grapefruit in it because ‘Ting’, as you’ll know, is a play on ‘thing’ but also, in the Caribbean, Ting is grapefruit.
“I subtly infused it with grapefruit in the background as well. Along with ginger.” These delicate undertones, along with the key passionfruit, mango and elderflower botanicals used, make GinTing taste almost like Kris and Louise have perfectly captured rays of sunshine and poured them directly into GinTing’s dazzlingly radiant purple bottle.
Speaking of which, that little silhouette – who you can spot eternally paddle boarding on the label’s luminescent river- is Kris. And the design fell into place in a manner we’ve come to acknowledge as classically GinTing.
“That’s the River Gannal that I’m in, it leads to the sea,” Kris laughs, jovially, again.
“It’s near our house in Cornwall, at a place called Crantock beach, we used to have barbeques there most evenings and one night we took that photo on an iPhone through a pair of sunglasses. All we had to do was make the bottom of it darker,” he explains.
Now, it might sound like the process of creating GinTing was a breeze, but in truth the project could never have come together without a great deal of passion and dedication. And not just from Louise and Kris. “Our family, friends and neighbours would come over and test the different flavours with us and now that we’ve done it and we’re selling it in bars and restaurants they all love it. This was something that was really exciting for everyone.
“My mum and dad, too, they are backing us one-hundred-per cent, they tell everyone about it, they probably bore the life out of people but they’re quite passionate about it. “It’s a nice family thing, if Louise and I go to restaurants or bars, she’ll promote it there and my 13-year-old daughter helps to put the tags on the bottles too.”
On a more technical level, Kris also had to get to grips with the distilling process, which he learned about through his manufacturing business.
“You know cartons of juice, how they have a straw on the side of the packaging? I manufacture equipment that sprays adhesive onto packaging.“So, the company who I use to distil, I used to work with them – for their packaging solutions for gins and other products they make.
“They are a big company, who distil for other leading brands, but after speaking to them I found out that they also run a small batch line – they can produce 600 or 200,000 gins in a week- so you can tailor it depending on how business is going.
“They can make things that are more hand-crafted, so I decided it would be better to use them as our distiller because the business has grown so quickly there’s no way I could keep up just doing it in a normal still ourselves.”
And with one of the famous bars, on Fistral beach, buying 60 bottles in just three weeks, it’s no wonder that Kris and Louise have had to think big.
“The main brewery down in Cornwall, they’re taking hundreds of bottles at a time.
“We’re also involved with the Gin and Rum Festival and Gin Jamboree – they host festivals in a different place every weekend and it’s cracking!
“We outsell the rest of the gins at these festivals – and there are 99 or 100 others there. “We sponsor some of the events too – so anyone who goes receives one of our gin ting branded glasses along with other goodies.”
The future of GinTing looks as brilliantly bright as it’s bottle, and while there are some plans for new flavours on the
horizon, Kris and Louise plan to go with the flow for the moment and ‘spread the love’ with their existing small batch product.
“When you start mass producing, you’re always trying to cut back on things to save money and make money – that’s not what we want – so my intention is to stick to this high-end value and offering quality that they appreciate.
“We want to keep GinTing as a special drink.”
As yet, there are no plans for Kris and Louise to give up their full-time jobs and most of the work they do with GinTing takes place in their spare time in the evenings and at weekends but, Kris says, it might become a full-time project if things continue at this rate of success.
The GinTing philosophy ends in the same positive tone on which it began. ‘Seize the moment, live your dreams.’ And finally… ’Enjoy a GinTing!’ We can say, with certainty, that we’ll definitely be taking onboard that last point.