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From the vineyards of Italy to the copper-pot still of our distillery in Buckinghamshire, meet our Head Distiller Marzio Di Rocco. Find out about his journey into distilling, perfecting a recipe and what his go-to cocktails are.
How did you get into distilling?
My distilling journey began when I worked at a vineyard and brewery in Italy. Here, I was inspired by my colleagues who oozed love and devotion for the role they played in creating incredible products. I went on to work as a sommelier and it was around this time that I knew my life would be devoted to spirits, so I took a Master Distiller Course to hone my passion.
What’s an average day like for you at the British Honey Company?
It is hard to describe an average day as every day is different. Usually I have a planning meeting over coffee with my colleagues in the morning, and then the day can take me to the distillery to produce gin or into the lab to create new recipes.
What do you love the most about the job?
Definitely new product development. Creating and then crafting a new product and seeing people enjoying the fruit of my work is what keeps me happy every day.
Where does your inspiration come from when developing new products?
It can be from anything, an old food recipe, a classic cocktail, a perfume, a book, a video game... Any of these things can give me an idea where I can take inspiration for a new recipe.
How long does it take to perfect a recipe?
Usually I need a few weeks to create a new recipe. Firstly, it may take two to three days to get where I want that recipe to be and then a few weeks of microscopic changes to get as close to perfection as possible.
What’s your favourite British Honey Company spirit and why?
Well, I have two favourite spirits and it is difficult to pick one of the two.
I like to think of myself as someone who loves nature and is trying to be as green as possible. Keepr's Honey Gin is a great gin, I love to sip it over ice after dinner. I love the passion that we have for the honey and the care for our bees.
Dodd's Gin is a perfect gin for cocktails. It is organic which is great for the quality of the spirit and the botanicals.
What is your go-to cocktail/drink that you never tire of?
A Dry Gin Martini with a lemon zest, usually made with Dodd's. I will drink it before dinner on a special occasion. Or a Sweet Manhattan, usually made with Keepr's Smoked Honey Bourbon for a bit of smokiness.
Tell us something that we might not know about the British Honey Company distillery
Before we make our gin we redistil our spirit 18 times through our copper pot still to get a very smooth vodka and use that for making gin.