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Meet the Gin Makers

By Ruth Goldsmith, also posted in News on

Our Copper House Distillery opened in November 2010, and since then we've welcomed thousands of visitors keen on learning more about small-batch distilling. At the end of last year, we bought four miniature copper stills, which not only allows our head distiller, John McCarthy, to experiment with exciting new botanicals and blends, it also gives guests on our Make your own Gin Experiences a chance to make their very own bottle. You can find out more about the Make your Own Gin experiences here. In the meantime, we thought you'd like to meet the team: Ruth Goldsmith, Adnams Gin MakerName: Ruth Goldsmith About Me: I’ve worked for Adnams for around 5 years and currently look after our tours as well as working in our Marketing team. I’m a big beer fan and when I’m not at work can usually be found trying new and exciting brews at pubs and beer festivals across the country. I also play the saxophone for a local Morris side and can be found playing with them at lots of festivals over the summer, when I’m not exploring the beer tent that is! Favourite Spirits:  Adnams Copper House Gin, preferably made into a large G&T and drunk overlooking the River Blyth. Favourite Beers: Anything with a decent whack of American hops! My current favourites are Adnams Innovation and Nor’ Hop from Moor Brewery in Somerset. Favourite Pub: Somewhere welcoming with a good beer selection, preferably by the water.  The Harbour Inn, Southwold, The Bridge Inn, Dulverton and The White Horse, Exford are my current front runners. Ultimate gin blend: Something fruity and floral – Elderflower, Bitter Orange, Hibiscus and lots of Juniper! Favourite Band: Bellowhead. Tracy Smith, Adnams Gin MakerName: Tracy Smith About me: I have worked for Adnams for four years leading Brewery and Distillery Tours.  Before that I was a research scientist studying  the effect of diet on health… Brussels Sprouts were my speciality! When not doing tours my life revolves around food, drink, music and travel (combining all four if possible). I home-brew, make wine and liqueurs, love growing (far to many) chillies and listening to old 45’s on my jukebox. I love travelling, particularly to the USA’s deep south, where I would ideally find myself beer in hand, listening to a Cajun band and ploughing my way through a huge pile of freshly cooked crawfish! Ultimate gin blend: Anything – but always consumed listening to music, sitting by the ocean somewhere warm. Favourite Food: Fish, simply grilled or barbecued. Favourite Band: Broken Family Band Jane Leonard, Adnams Gin MakerName: Jane Leonard About Me: I have been hosting the Adnams tours for over two and half years now and it has been wonderful to have an audience again. I trained at the Rambert School of ballet and performed in over forty professional productions. I retired from show business to embark on the very important role of ‘Mum’ to my children. While raising my kids, work opportunities have taken me down many different roads from theatre production to running my own small businesses - some of which I still do. When I moved to Suffolk permanently a few years ago I contacted Adnams to see if they needed help in their store and, as they say, the rest is history. It has been great to learn all about wine, beer and, of course, spirits. Over my time in the Cellar and Kitchen store I have become, possibly too, familiar with many of the wines. Which Adnams wines would I take home: Adnams White Burgundy is always a safe bet but I love the John Forrest wines particularly  the ‘Collection Range’ including Sauvignon Blanc and the Syrah. Favourite Adnams Products: Gunhill, Ghostship, Copper House Gin and Winter Spice Liqueur. Maggie Jennings, Adnams Gin MakerName: Maggie Jennings About Me:  My name is Maggie. I have been doing Brewery Tours for Adnams for the past three years. I used to make my own beer at home, and still do sometimes! I don’t buy kits, but malt my own barley, and make everything from scratch. My children used to watch and take an interest in what I was doing, but frankly, at that time they were more interested in the cup cakes I was also making. However, some of it rubbed off as my daughter, Belinda, is now a Master Brewer, and quality manager for Adnams!  I have drunk gin for many a year and enjoy it with tonic in the Summer. However, it was not until I tasted Adnams Gin that I realised the drink was a lot more complex and subtle than the type I had been used to. When I’m not showing people around the brewery and distillery I teach Nordic walking, an exercise designed to keep the body, mind and heart healthy. Hobbies: I have to admit that my main hobby really is just walking… with a pint at the end! Favourite Pub: The Blaxhall Ship - A honest pub, its history is steeped in local music, friendly and, luckily, near me. Favourite Food: Anything tasty, colourful, simple and continental.  And with plenty of garlic. Favourite Band: Buckshee - a wonderful husband and wife duo, to be found at the Blaxhall Ship, and elsewhere in East Anglia (and also in areas of the Dordogne in France). They play a superb mixture of French and English Folk with Latin overtones. Why not meet one of our Gin Makers in person and learn to make gin by joining us on one of our Make your Own Gin Experiences.  


Ruth Goldsmith