Fear not. Cricket’s legend, captain of that glorious 2005 Ashes-winning team, hasn’t strayed down a dark path. ‘This room is almost exclusively my teenage daughter’s nowadays,’ he grumbles. ‘We barely get a look in.’
The gin is his – or at least partly his – latest business venture. (And the sipping is mainly staged for the photos.)
Declaration Gin, which will soon be available online and in high-end retailers such as Selfridges, was the result of those late-night, dinner party ‘Why don’t we?’ moments. Only when you’re Michael Vaughan those moments don’t get thrown away into the recycling the next morning with last night’s empty wine – or indeed, gin – bottles. They actually become reality.
‘I know it’s been done before,’ he says of the seemingly exponentially flourishing gin market. ‘But we thought we could do something great – and that it’d be fun.’
The ‘we’ is his wife Nichola – a former accountant – and friends Michael and Rachael Hunter, who’ve both had high-flying careers in sales and marketing respectively. A crack team then. ‘I’m good at ideas, I’m good at vision and innovation,’ says Michael. (He’s already considering the next drink in what they hope will be a Declaration stable; a rum or tequila perhaps.) He’s also the famous one.
And so the name (declaration is a cricketing term and his autobiography is Time to Declare) and story behind the gin is his; infused with ingredients that originate from his three favourite cricketing countries. There’s Australian ginger, Darjeeling tea from India ‘and then a few things from England but primarily liquorice’. It has been distilled in North Wales.
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