top of page

Hawthorn’s Gin Sails Into Home Port With a New Campaign

Hawthorn’s London Dry Gin, created from a naval war hero’s recipe, is launching a consumer promotional campaign designed to introduce the spirit to a wider audience and drive website sales.

The brand’s new campaign is initially setting sail in Hampshire, home of the recipe’s inventor and the area from which the founders hail. Outlets in some other parts of the South and South West of England are also included. The campaign will involve social media, venue support in on- and off-trade outlets, newspaper promotions and PR, and sampling.

Multi-award-winning* Hawthorn’s Gin was founded by Will Turnage and Nick Masters. Will Turnage’s grandfather, Lieutenant Commander Skip, was the inspiration for this gin.

LC Skip was a WW2 Royal Navy Commander who became a war hero and who, in between battles, found time to distil his own gin, smuggled it on board ship and share it with his crew to boost morale. The wartime recipe was discovered in his diaries only after his death aged 90 in 2012. It was fitting to launch the new campaign in a region which has such a strong naval and marine connection, including the ports of Portsmouth and Southampton.

Will Turnage, CEO and Founder of Hawthorn’s, says: “I always knew my grandfather was a war hero. In 1941, he took part in the perilous Tiger Convoy and was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French for his role in the D-Day landings in June 1944. We were very proud of him but knew little else of his life at sea. Like many of his generation, Skip didn’t talk about the war. So, when I discovered his old war diary, it was a revelation. He wrote about air raids and torpedoes; of being sunk 3 times and never getting his feet wet; his homesick men and playing ‘ruggers’ on deck; the time the King and Queen inspected the docks; the first time he took my grandmother to a dance…and he wrote about gin”.

Even though Will had spent sixteen years in the liquor industry, not once did Skip mention his gin recipe. “Skip distilled the gin himself – collecting botanicals from the far reaches of the world in which he laid anchor. He combined them with English wheat in a copper pot still to distil his legendary gin. And then he smuggled the gin on board, sharing it with his ‘ratings’ to boost the morale of his war-ravaged crew. Recreating his recipe seemed like the perfect tribute to my grandfather. I think he’d be very proud of his legacy”.

As a well-travelled naval officer, Skip had the opportunity to gather botanicals from all around the world. He selected those which appealed to him to give his gin balance – keeping it interesting and fresh, but smooth enough to be drunk neat, as people in the Navy tended to do. No wonder today’s makers now describe this gin as “All Craft. No nonsense”.

The founders decided to launch the gin brand and sought out juniper berries from Macedonia; orange and lemon peel from Seville; cinnamon from the Seychelles; cassia bark from Indonesia; Sri Lankan nutmeg; Bulgarian coriander seeds; orris root; liquorice; and angelica. The result is a beautifully rounded, crisp, zesty single batch gin distilled using British wheat.

The campaign is being coordinated by drinks marketing expert, Gregg Ainsworth, Principal of Steampunk Consulting.

To list Hawthorn’s Gin, contact:

*Hawthorn's Gin (41% ABV) has won five consecutive Gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) 2016-2020 incl.

Share this article on LinkedIn or Twitter
Featured Posts
Recent Posts
bottom of page