DECLARATION of GINDEPENDENCE
Cheshire Life|December 2019
Living close to Alderley Edge, cricketing legend Michael Vaughan is happily settled into Cheshire life and about to launch his latest business venture
Katie Mulloy
We're in the part of Michael Vaughan’s - tasteful, not ostentatious, fairly recently rebuilt farmhouse not far from Alderley Edge - we shall call the Party Room. With its wooden bar, rustic lighting and industrial chic furnishing it has all the aesthetic of some cool, gritty city cocktail joint. He is at the aforementioned bar, sipping on a goblet of G&T. It is 11am on a Monday morning.

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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