Clarence Spirits Limited is owned by the husband and wife team Martin and Julie Summers and was created back in October 2018 based on the idea of why not?
Whilst running a successful restaurant and having just finished a gruelling evening function and gasping for a drink we sat down and thought a Gin and Tonic would hit the spot. However with over 150 Gins to choose from and the majority of them being flavoured Julie and Martin settled for wine instead and then discussed why is there not a Gin that is so smooth and subtle that you can drink it by itself just with ice and then if you want to mix it up add a flavour tonic (and not having to worry if your flavoured gin would match the right tonic).
That is where the why not came along. At the time we did not have a name or even an idea what ingredients to choose but we knew what we wanted to achieve and after a few no’s we had it. The Gin is very well balanced has a slight citrus taste and aroma from the grapefruit zest but most importantly perfect over ice.
As we lived and both felt passionately about the beautiful seaside town of Whitley Bay in the North East of England we thought the name had to be Whitley Bay based and there’s nothing more famous than the lighthouse and island St Mary’s. The next task was to make the appearance of the bottle as beautiful as St Mary’s Lighthouse and that’s where the idea of the picture of the lighthouse appearing inside each bottle and it would change in accordance to the season the gin was batched in. With the help of a local photographer and friend we had the perfect image.
The first batch of St Mary’s Premium Gin was ready in December of 2018 and was on a pre-order basis. We did not expect the response that we received, and the first four batches were sold out and allocated before we even had them. It was a customer of one of the local bars that first stocked us who created our slogan ‘Perfectly served On the Rocks’.
Due to the success of St Mary’s Gin and because we were constantly asked for a Vodka we then released St Mary’s Gins baby sister in June 2019 which proved just as popular and then we followed that with St Mary’s Rum in June 2020 (right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic but it proved a welcome addition to everyone on lock down at home).
Quickly becoming the regions favourite tipples and not wanting to rest on our laurels we have exciting plans for 2021 including new products and hopefully new premises. We will be looking for new stockists and keen to add to the local businesses and suppliers we currently use.
The only question left to ask is how will you have yours? On the Rocks or what will your perfect serve be?