Here at Longflint, we’re on a journey to find the best possible partners who create the spirits that form the base of our long drinks. We’re obsessive about flavours and only the best will do. We’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the best independent producers and we thought we’d share their passion with you too.
We caught up with Alex Wolpert from East London Liquor Company, who produce the vodka in our Winter Spiced Pear, Vodka Tonic and the gin in our Hibiscus, Gin Tonic, to hear all about what sparked his passion for craft spirits.
Over to you Alex...
Tell us all about East London Liquor Company...
We’re the first gin, vodka and whisky distillery in East London in over 100 years (London’s historic home of distilling). Since we began distilling in July 2014, we have prided ourselves on reviving and refreshing spirits production here, but with a focus on innovation. Our goal is to be open and transparent about what goes into our gins and our spirits production, using botanicals to create gins that engage contemporary drinkers.
What sparked your passion for distilling - was there one particular ‘Ah-ha!’ moment?
I’m not a distiller myself, but the idea for East London Liquor Company came from my background working behind the bar: to have a commercially ethical gin. That’s when I realised that there was a gap in the market for a high-quality spirit that doesn’t break the bank. Even nearly four years later there’s no one else in the UK making spirits on our scale at our price.
You have brought spirit production back to East London. What’s changed since you opened your doors?
We’ve definitely noticed more and more interest in spirits from consumers as much as from the trade: people want to know how and where their spirits are made. The great thing about our distillery is that you can come in and see where every drop comes from.
We are pretty taken with your spirits. Do you have a favourite tipple?
That’s like asking if I have a favourite child….so yes, Batch No.2 Gin (it’s amazing in a negroni).
Have there been any unusual ELLC concoctions that haven’t see the light of day?
We’re always trialing new things, and yes, sometimes they don’t go as planned. That’s the beauty of our distillery: we’re young and we’re not hindered by tradition, so we have the freedom to try new things, which sometimes fail spectacularly. That’s how we learn what works and what doesn’t.
Any big news for 2018?
We are releasing our London Rye® whisky by the end of the year – can’t wait!
Are there other places in your vicinity that we should be keeping an eye on?Cave Direct Beer Blendery, Longflint’s new East London home, Ellory and Pidgin for amazing local restaurants that champion our spirits.
What’s your favourite drink + food + situation combination?
Negronis and anytime, anywhere.
You’ve been a Longflint supporter from the beginning. Where did you first spot us?
We’ve had Longflint on the radar for some time.
What got you excited about partnering with us?
The exceptional quality of the drinks.
When’s the best time to drink Longflint?
When you’re in planes, trains and automobiles: this is the ultimate on the road, beautifully put together combination, which one should always have in their knapsack.
Not to toot our own horn - but - have your customers said anything quotable about Longflint?
They do very well in our Bottle Shops as an easy cocktail-on-the-go, as well as a nice hack when you don’t have the bandwidth to make cocktails in your kitchen.