Gin maker announces plan to build London rum distillery

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Jim & Tonic already owns a gin distillery in London. Credit: Jim & Tonic
Jim & Tonic already owns a gin distillery in London. Credit: Jim & Tonic

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London-based gin maker Jim & Tonic is set to expand its operations with the construction of a rum distillery.

Jim & Tonic has announced its intention to build a rum distillery on Sugar House Island in Stratford, London.

The spirits business already owns a gin facility on the same complex, which work was completed on in 2022. ‘The Rum House’ has been designed to serve multiple purposes and is set to feature a bar on the ground floor and the roof, in addition to an event space on the first floor.

The distillery will also be located on the ground floor, with Jim & Tonic committed to on only selling that has been fermented, distilled, and aged onsite.

The facility was designed to incorporate several concepts in the field of sustainable distillery operations, including the use of reverse osmosis waste water in a greywater system, the use of rainwater catchment for distillery cleaning, and the recirculation of condenser cooling water throughout the structure to supplement or replace standard underfloor heating.

Jim & Tonic looks to expand

Managing director James Mark said the brand was delighted to be opening a second facility in Stratford, just seven years on from the company’s formation in 2016.

[The new facility] allows us to expand as a business in many ways from being able to supply exciting new rum products to consumers and the trade, to making our home an even more appealing destination to visit for all​,” Mark added.

Head distiller and production manager, Hendré Barnard, joined the business in 2022 having taught students about the spirit making process all around the world.

Speaking on the new development, Barnard explained that Jim & Tonic wanted to be “experimental​” in its approach, adding that rum allows for “innovation and creativity​".

"As a company with multiple areas of focus, we use substantial volumes of all spirit categories and therefore diversifying our offering for internal use has always made sense​,” Barnard told Food Manufacture.

Many of these product lines have been well received, and even without a directed marketing push, we have received requests from the trade to supply them with the extended product range.

Add to this the fact that, for several years now, rum has been seen as a new category of growth in the spirit world, and many brands have already diversified by adding a rum offering to their portfolio, it was an easy decision to make this our first new distillery project​.”

In other news, a project funded by the Welsh Government has created 683 jobs in food and drink manufacturing since its introduction in 2016​.

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