The Art of Gin

The Art of Gin  

Bullards have been supplying beers, wines and spirits in Norwich since 1837. Making it a name that’s synonymous with the history of the city. So, it will come as no surprise that Bullards knows what it’s talking about when it comes to one of our favourite spirits – gin.  

Here, we speak to Tamsen Macro, the Chief Brand Ambassador for Bullards Spirits to find out more about the fantastic gin which has its roots here in Norfolk.  

Tamsen at the tasting bar in Jarrold. Credit Andy Newman.

Tamsen at the tasting bar in Jarrold. Credit Andy Newman.

Why did you become the Chief Brand Ambassador for Bullards?  

I enjoy nothing more than talking to people about food and drink. It’s an everyday, essential part of life, but it is so interesting to learn more about the different ways people enjoy it. I’ve worked in the industry for 18 years, which is a very long time for me! The thing that drew me to Bullards as a brand is the amazing history behind it and the extraordinary quality in what they are producing. 

I joined over a year ago and have learnt so much here, especially when it comes to sustainability in the drinks industry. From production to packaging, it has been educational to see the closed circle of sustainability up close and personal.   

Could you tell us more about your role? 

Part of my role is heading up all our retail and event spaces, and it’s something that I really enjoy! I’ve also led the charge on our Gin Experiences and Cocktail Masterclasses, which is by far my favourite aspect of the role. Educating our customers on the history of the Bullards name, the history of gin, and how to expertly taste our core styles is very rewarding. 

I find so much enjoyment in meeting all our lovely customers and finding out their favourite gin! So many tips and tricks are shared between us in our Gin Experiences which makes each booking different. I also really enjoy listening to the stories that our customers relay to us about their involvement with the Bullards brand over the years. Bullards was once a brewery here in Norwich, employing a large portion of the city’s residents. A lot of our customers have stories to tell about their family’s connections with us, which is incredibly interesting to hear. 

Tamsen at Chantry Place 2, Credit-Helen Butterworth

Tamsen at Chantry Place. Credit Helen Butterworth

What’s your favourite gin? 

My favourite style of gin is Old Tom. I love not only the complexity of it, but the history behind this particular style. Old Tom is drier than a Genever and sweeter than a London Dry and is the perfect style to go for when you’re dipping your toes into the gin world or are transitioning from a flavoured gin to more traditional styles. 

I am also a sucker for something that can be drunk on its own because it really shows the quality of a spirit. If you haven’t already tried drinking Old Tom neat, I recommend giving it a try! 

Bullards gin bottles

What do you recommend for cocktail lovers? 

Did you know that all cocktails actually started with gin? So no combinations are off limit when it comes to creating interesting mixes. 

From experimenting with mixology, I’ve discovered some interesting flavours that I didn’t think I would enjoy. Like herb garnishes! Making fresh herbaceous cocktails at home is now my new favourite thing to do. 

There is definitely an art to crafting cocktails, but the key is in balancing the flavours. My top tip is to understand what your main spirit is and build the flavours from there.  

Take our Coastal Gin, for example. You’ve got salty, citrusy and herbaceous flavours there that can be perfectly accentuated by building on these key aromas. The St Clements works super well here with orange juice, lemon juice and a pinch of mint. Delish! 

Sample some delicious gin and tonics with Bullards

Sample some delicious gin cocktails with Bullards

To find out more about Bullards, head to the gin shop and tasting room in Chantry Place, or the Jarrold tasting bar, where you can enjoy some free gin samples. And for a truly unique experience, you can book one of the Bullards gin experiences. You’ll learn all about the history of the Bullards name, the extraordinary history of gin, and learn some expert tasting techniques along the way. Book your place on the website, prices start at £25.