Victory London Distillery is a modern alcohol brand providing its consumers with a great choice of botanical spirits including vodka, gin, vermouth, red bitters, and pre-mixed cocktails. The distillers use a cold distillation technique which allows them to extract the light, delicate aromas and flavours of the ingredients. The cutting-edge technology they use helps to reduce water waste and conserve energy.
Victory London Distillery is run by Max and Máire Chater — husband and wife team, both are from hospitality backgrounds and are on a mission to create products that are great to mix, drink and enjoy. We asked Máire and Max about how they started their journey as distillers and what are the challenges of becoming planet-positive and plastic-free brand.
Tell us, please, how did you come up with the idea for Victory London Distillery?
Victory Gin started out as our house pour creation at our cocktail bar. It wasn’t intended as a marketable product, but It wasn’t long before we started playing with the infusion and distillation of botanicals and quite organically, the production of spirits became our main focus. We started off supplying local bars and restaurants before we expanded our production and range and began supplying wholesalers and retailers around the UK.
You’ve launched Forest Vermouth in February and a range of ready-to-drink cocktails in March. What's it like to launch new products during a pandemic?
For us, launching limited releases and collaborations was a huge positive outcome of pandemic life. We lost the majority of our trade with bars and restaurants being closed. It was a great opportunity to connect with our customers at home. We had a chance to get creative outside of our core range, which really was a gift and a privilege. We’re so proud of the projects we were able to realise in the last year. As a result, we have learned so much and we’re able to apply so much of what we’ve learned as the industry starts to return.
You set a goal to remove all the plastic components of your packaging by the end of 2021. What are the challenges of becoming a plastic-free brand?
It’s actually shocking how hard this goal is to achieve. Plastic really does make its way into everything. We have a full rebrand on the horizon which is our next huge step towards being plastic free by the end of 2021. Refilling and reusing our bottles has been a part of our story since the beginning. We’ve ditched our plastic refill pouches for plastic free, infinitely recyclable aluminium cans. Our drip resistant plastic vinyl labels on heavy flint glass bottles will be a thing of the past and we’ll be re launching with a beautiful refill bottle which is made from the highest content of recycled glass used in a spirit bottle to date. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on.
Besides that amazing goal, is there anything else you can share? Maybe distillery developments or new products coming?
We’re always working on new projects. We’re working on some very exciting custom spirits for some prolific bars and restaurants in London. We’re also looking at new ways of using spent botanicals. Victory Hot Sauce and Victory Soap, believe it or not.
What is your favourite cocktail?
Máire- If we’re talking classics, it’s got to be a Gimlet at the moment. Max- a Victory Negroni, naturally
Who in the industry, past or present, or both, has been an inspiration to you?
Davide Campari for his dedication and determination to grow his family's brand.
You are condemned to live on a desert island and can take one book, one movie, and one song with you. Which do you bring?
Nigel Slater, Eat — I love how he talks about food. Pure Joy.
Paddington — Ridiculous, but totally innocent.
Penny and the Guarters — You and Me. All the feels, as they say.
Meditations, Marcus Aurelius — To keep me grounded
Inception — To help me get off to sleep
David Bowie, Conversation Piece — Has to be Bowie