A sunny day and a bright green lawn ready for croquet at the historic Ocean House in Watch Hill set the stage for the New England launch of Highclere Castle Gin on August 20. Guests welcomed the brand’s Co-founder and spokeswoman Lady Fiona Carnarvon of Highclere Castle, real-life Countess to the home and famous setting of television and film’s “Downton Abbey.” She was joined by CEO and Co-founder, Connecticut spirits entrepreneur, Adam von Gootkin. Fashion editor for Harper’s Bazaar magazine and British television host Avril Graham moderated a question-and-answer-style chat with Lady Carnarvon, who spoke about the gin’s creation as well as Lord Carnarvon’s family history and Highclere Castle, now in its eighth generation of ownership. von Gootkin was brought to the platform to educate on the brand and its plans, speaking also about its first collaboration, Highclere Castle Cigars, which were available during the party. At the session’s end, guests asked questions ranging from “Downton Abbey” cast and crew curiosity to castle life and cocktail recipes. Of the Rhode Island launch, Lady Carnarvon said, “It’s really exciting to be here at Ocean House. It’s absolutely charming. It’s a really clever and fun place to launch Highclere Castle Gin for New England. It’s brilliant.” A super-premium London Dry Gin with botanicals from the castle’s herb gardens, its recipe uses juniper, orange peel, lime flower, lavender and Highclere’s estate-grown oats. “It’s a great gin because it’s not too strong on the juniper and it’s got the hint of the botanicals,” said Lady Carnarvon. “A gin for all seasons.” Highclere Castle Gin is distributed in the state by Mancini Beverage – Rhode Island Distributing.
Photos by Laura Widness.