New award-winning gin made near Banbury has been named as one of the best in the world

A gin based near Banbury has been named as one of the best in the world - just 18 months after being launched.

Andrew Parsons and Rachel Hicks (distillers and co founders, Sky Wave Gin) at the World Gin Awards 2020.
Andrew Parsons and Rachel Hicks (distillers and co founders, Sky Wave Gin) at the World Gin Awards 2020.

Sky Wave Gin has been named the World’s Best Contemporary Gin 2020 at the World Gin Awards on Thursday night (Feb 27).

“We couldn’t believe it. We were up against big gin names such as Manchester Gin, Martin Miller and Herno Gin,” says Sky Wave Gin master distiller and co founder Andrew Parsons.

The awards were announced at the international gala dinner in London, attended by gin companies, retailers and journalists from around the world.

Sky Wave Gin, based in Bucknell near Bicester, began as an outsider in the 600 strong competition, which is judged by 26 industry experts from around the world.

“We are a new, small artisan distillery, we create all our gin by hand, and we personally label and bottle it too,” says distiller and co founder Rachel Hicks, from Great Bourton.

“We entered the World Gin Awards last year and didn’t win anything. So we tried again this year and in February we were crowned Best Contemporary Gin in England. But last night was a dream come true.”

Staff at Sky Wave Gin said it is now hoping the award will help attract new distributors.

“Our gorgeous Oxfordshire gin has been recognised on a global platform and now we want to share it far and wide,” says Andrew.

“We will be growing our workforce in Oxfordshire with new sales staff and we are very keen to expand our distribution network. We want to speak to companies who’d like to represent the Best Contemporary Gin in the World.”

“It really is a big deal as the World Gin Awards celebrates the very best in all internationally recognised styles of gin,” said Rachel.

Sky Wave Gin has also won a Double Gold Medal in the Chinese Wine and Spirits Competition in January 2020 and a Gold Medal in the international Womens Wine and Spirits Awards 2020 in November.

Talking about the choice of name Sky Wave, Rachel and Andy said it not only reflects their experiences over mountains and seas, but it is also a term used in radio; in their former lives, they were respectively a BBC radio reporter and a Royal Signals officer.

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