King of Soho gin bid to convert Russians from vodka

A London gin maker is launching an audacious export drive to the land of vodka with a launch in dozens of stores across Russia.

Entrepreneur Alex Robson, who co-founded the King of Soho brand four years ago, will fly to Moscow next week to finalise a distribution deal for a country where gin is virtually unknown - writes

Ms Robson, who set up the craft gin company with property developer Howard Raymond - son of the Soho club owner Paul Raymond - said she believed Russians were ready to embrace the spirit despite their famed preference for vodka.

She said: ”Our gin is soft on juniper and has a high presence of citrus botanicals led by grapfruit peel, as well as anegelica and cassia.

That means it makes a good martini and we are very keen that it could drunk neat. That suits the Russians because they like their drink neat in vodka shots.

“I think it will play to their taste buds, it’s their time for gin and I want to be leading the charge.”

Ms Robson visited Russia for the Moscow Bar Show earlier in the year and was approached by drinks wholesaler Metro about stocking the gin in Russia. The first batch is due to be be shipped to Russian before Christmas. It will be stocked in 89 stores mainly in the Moscow area.

Gin is little known in Russia, where supermarkets have entire aisles dedicated to different types of vodka, and only drunk by around one per cent of the population, The Russian market accounted for only a tiny fraction of last year’s total exports of £474 million, which overtook overseas sales of British beef for the first time.

It is not the first attempt to crack the potentially lucrative Russian market. In 1997 the Queen’s cousin and society photographer Lord Lichfield launched his own brand Lichfield Gin in Russia.

King of Soho is produced in Clapham by eleventh-generation master distiller whose family set up the gin business in the 17th century.

It was initially stocked only in central London bars and in one Soho store. It is now on the shelves of Harrods and Fortnum & Mason and also sold by supermarket chains Asda and Morrison nationwide. It also has distrubtion deals in Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic and Japan.

Ms Robson, who lived and worked in Moscow and St Petersburg earlier in her career, said: “We want to become an international brand.”

Read also more news of London on our site.
Russians vodka
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
4 views in october
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Nearly 150 County of Lambton paramedics are no longer responding to non-emergency calls amid ongoing negotiations for a new contract. Job action as of last Saturday means Lambton County paramedics won’t be doing non-urgent transfers between hospitals for the next while, or keeping ambulance stations as neat and tidy, a union spokesperson says. Nearly 150 Lambton Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedics represented by SEIU Healthcare Local 1 stopped resp...
Clapham Junction has been named London’s worst mainline train station for disruption in a survey by leading consumer title Which? Fifty-seven per cent of trains have been late or cancelled at the south London interchange since the beginning of the year, their research found. Their study found King’s Cross was the second worst, with 51 per cent of trains delayed or cancelled, followed by Victoria (47 per cent), Stratford (44 per cent) and London Bridge (44...
Tube drivers on the Piccadilly Line are set to hold fresh 24-hour strike action in a row over staffing and working conditions. The RMT Union has urged members to walk out at 12:00 BST on 7 November until noon the following day - writes The union's general secretary Mick Cash said it had become "frustrated" with Tube bosses' handling of a "full raft of issues". Transport for London (TfL) said it was "disappointed" with the new strike. Drivers on the...
The Tate and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) are calling for a premium to fund arts classes in England's schools. The major arts institutions say league tables and pressures on time and budgets are squeezing out important creative subjects - writes Six thousand 11 to 18-year-olds have described how the subjects help build their confidence, in new research. The government says it is investing almost £500m in arts and music. Creative subjects hav...
Five teenagers have been jailed for fatally stabbing a man in an unprovoked attack as he returned home from an appointment with his pregnant partner. Daniel Frederick, 34, was knifed repeatedly by the group just yards from his home in Stoke Newington, Hackney. Three teenagers were convicted of murdering Mr Frederick while another two were found guilty of manslaughter. They were jailed at the Old Bailey for a combined total of at least 64 years. Judge Phili...
Work at a building site near London's Olympic Park has stopped after complaints about "horrendous" smells. Nearby Mossbourne Academy said its students felt sick and local residents spoke of headaches because of smells coming from the site in Hackney Wick. The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) told Telford Homes to stop work last month until a new plan to "manage the site" was approved. The LLDC and Telford Homes claimed there was no health risk....
Ten of Britain's busiest railway stations have seen over half of all train services delayed by a minute or more this year, research has revealed - writes Manchester Oxford Road had the least punctual services, with 68% delayed. Data analysis by consumer group Which? found York, Gatwick Airport and Birmingham New Street also saw less than 40% of trains arrive on time. The group said even small delays could have "a knock-on effect" on passengers' abi...
Two more east London schools have closed because of an infestation of false widow spiders. John F Kennedy Special School, which has campuses in Stratford and Beckton, and Godwin Junior School, in Forest Gate, announced they would close. False widows are about the size of a 50p coin and are the most dangerous spider species in the UK. Four secondary schools and four primary schools, all in Newham, have closed for various amounts of time. Thousands of childr...
London Abused Women’s Centre says an anti-sex-trafficking online ad campaign that drew scores of calls for help from women and girls was so successful, it's already planning another. London Abused Women’s Centre says an anti-sex-trafficking online ad campaign that drew scores of calls for help from women and girls was so successful, it’s already planning another. The online ads, targeting both possible trafficking victims and sex buyers, appeared or were v...