Pickering’s Gin is set to make its mark in China with the opening of the first dedicated gin bar in Beijing. Less than a year since WeDO member Marcus Pickering fought off tough competition to win our 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Far East is proving to be their oyster as Marcus predicted.
The first Pickering’s Gin and Seafood Bar was officially opened on Saturday with 100 local dignitaries, celebrities and influencers from China’s capital to enjoy the output of the Edinburgh distillery along with some fine seafood from Scotland.
The event saw Scottish oysters served along with a foam made from Pickering’s Gin Original Recipe 1947 and celery.
Located in the Sanlitun area of the Chaoyang District, a lively area for wining and dining, the brand new purpose-built venue is part of a long term export strategy by the company set up by Marcus Pickering and Matt Gammell.
Current plans include the opening of 19 more such outlets in key cities across China.
The concept was developed along with PandaBrew, early entrants to the fledgling craft beer scene in China.
The 270 square metre venue includes a 120-cover restaurant, three bars and a live music stage.
Stevie Watson, the former manager of the London Gin Club who is Pickering’s brand ambassador has collaborated with the bar’s award-winning head mixologist John Hung to create a bespoke cocktail menu to introduce gin to the people of Beijing.
They offer what they call the ‘ultimate gin and tonic experience’ with Pickering’s gin steamed via a sous-vide process with butterfly peas,lemongrass and washed with olive oil.
These new contemporary expressions are then paired with a flower suspended in cleverly engineered crystal clear ice blocks.
Bespoke cocktail offerings include a Distilled Negroni infusing Pickering’s Navy Strength Gin with Sichuan pepper and the Peacock Egg which is served like a yolk in an egg shell.
The new bar stocks the entire Pickering’s Gin range and aims to take advantage of the increasing taste for gin among Chinese consumers.
China imported around 53 million litres of spirits from overseas in the first nine months of 2017 in the first nine months of 2017, in a market worth around $807 million (£608m), according to Global Data figures.
Marcus Pickering, co-founder and head of export, heralds the bar as an important milestone for Pickering’s Gin:
“We are bringing a unique offering to the Chinese market with our range of gins distilled in the heart of Scotland’s capital. This is about showcasing the best Scotland, and indeed what Britain has to offer to the East.
In the next six months we will work towards having the seafood on the menu sourced exclusively from Scotland including lobster, oysters and mussels. We are working with the Department of International Trade and Scottish Development International to make this a truly Scottish destination in Beijing.
We have been overwhelmed with our Chinese welcome to the market here and we’re confident this is just the first of many Pickering’s Gin bars in China.”
Matt Gammell, head distiller and co-founder said:
“This is a big step for us and we are grateful to have such an experienced partner in PandaBrew.
We’re sure that the quality of our gin, combined with the provenance of the food on offer, will shine through and become an instant hit with Beijing foodies and expats alike.
The Summerhall Distillery has gone from strength to strength and recently upgraded their bottling line to prepare for increased export demand from both China and the USA. So if you’re visiting Beijing then be sure to pay a visit to the new bar, a little bit of Scotland in the Far East.