By Marni Scott

The Tipsy Toad Gin and Fentimans pictured by Marni Scott

The Landlady of several years, Wendy Warner, at the Dukes Head Tadworth recently decided to venture into the Gin-making business. Wendy partnered up with the Gin Kitchen in Dorking to make a pink gin (called ‘The Pink One’ for now) and The Tipsy Toad Gin. The latter is made with a “botanical blend of juniper berries, liquorice root, nectarine, ginger, orange peel, lemon thyme and Tonka bean”.

Soon after, Joanna Mason took me on board as an intern and we began contacting the local press and sponsors. As an intern, I wasn’t able to make the major decisions, but I was present when Joanna contacted Fentimans for their support. Fentimans supplied for the event a surplus of free gin glasses, tonic etc. This was a big step for the Gin Launch and the brief linking of the two brands did increase the media coverage of the event.

Fentimans Tonic pictured by Marni Scott

In order to create coverage for the event we began to promote the event several weeks beforehand by contacting local press like Surrey Magazine, Epsom and Ewell- Once Upon a Town and BBC Food, As well as sending out invites for the exclusive event and messaging local celebrities such as Peter Andre.

The invites we sent out were created on Canva with the aid from a local artist from The Gin Kitchen which tied in with the brand’s theme whilst keeping the name hidden. The fairytale theme was constructed with the use of vines, butterflies and dandelions. This theme spread across all our forms of social media.

A sample of the invite to the Gin Launch at the Dukes Head Tadworth.

When it came to the event finally, even the artwork at the pub was themed. The gin flowed freely from the old-fashioned style jugs with whimsical names like ‘Giggle Rose Punch’ and hand-filled corked test tubes that looked like potions were in rows around the floral arrangements. In fact, the entire beer garden behind the pub had been transformed for the evening with an abundance of pink and orange flowers and tapestries of the Tipsy Toad Gin artwork showing the methodology behind it.

Pink Gin pictured at the Gin Launch by Marni Scott

Joanna and I helped with the setup all day and when it came to the event everything had to be photographed and every glass had to be filled. The staff at the pub were handing round canapes and a guitarist had been hired to help the ambience, not that he was needed with all the fairy lights coating the ceiling.

The night was a success, around a hundred or more guests attended and several orders were placed for the Tipsy Toad and The Pink One. Joanna and I aided people in using the hashtags #dukesheadtadworth #tipsytoad and after the fact she taught me how to construct press releases. All in all, the experience was astounding, Joanna Mason and The Dukes Head in Tadworth hosted an amazing event I was grateful to play a hand in orchestrating and I learnt a lot from it.