Like many people, Ben Maguire, founder of HMS Spirits, has always enjoyed a refreshing G&T. But he felt that there was a gap in the market and wanted to create a traditional gin with a modern twist.

So that’s what he did. He invested in a beautiful 35-litre copper still, during a completely non-related trip to Hungary. He then shipped it back and installed it in his garage. Over the next few years, he spent every spare moment testing different recipes, blends and botanicals. He wanted the perfect mix of a gin that respected the art of the London Dry, but with a fresh, unexpected twist.

The name was inspired by Ben’s proximity to the sea and his naval family background. The “HMS fleet” seemed to capture the sentiment perfectly, encompassing integrity and respect for others. In addition it needed a sense of adventure, and a willingness to go out there and take risks.

In 2016, the HMS Spirits Company was formed. When Mary Rose London Dry Gin arrived on the scene it was like a breath of fresh sea air. The flagship spirit is carefully crafted in small batches. It is juniper heavy but perfectly balanced with subtle hints of rosemary and grapefruit, for a distinctive smooth taste.

Word is getting around. Mary Rose is creating interest, selling fast and is also now winning awards at home and abroad.