Hollywood Director Paul Feig Premieres Artingstall’s Gin
Paul Feig in cocktail mood
Describing himself as “maker of good movies, bad poems & brilliant gin”, Paul Feig named Artingstall’s after his mother’s maiden name. The Michigan-raised, dapper director of The Heat, Last Christmas and Bridesmaids shares his gin obsession with Falstaff.
Falstaff: Which of your films feature the most drinks?
Paul Feig: A Simple Favour where Blake Lively’s character teaches Anna Kendrick’s character how to make an Alessandro Palazzi-approved Dukes Bar martini: frozen gin, frozen glass, dash of vermouth swirled in the glass and tossed onto the floor, and then a big twist of lemon. And no ice, ever. That said, most of my movies have at least one bar scene, in which I get to uplight booze bottles on a glass shelf. To me, the most beautiful sight in the world is a perfectly lit bar.
Who from history would you like to enjoy a martini with?
Winston Churchill, since the man seems to have known his gin. Also, Nick and Nora Charles from The Thin Man movies since they, too, seemed to know everything about good martinis.
Which celebrities rate Artingstall’s?
Some of the people who posted on social media about it are Melissa McCarthy, Priyanka Chopra, Gary Barlow and Jenna Fischer, and Angela Kinsey from the US version of The Office.
Is it usual to include elderberry as a botanical?
It may be, though so many gin makers keep their ingredients secret. We love the tart, jammy element it brings to the mix. Not too present – but a bit sneaky on your tongue.
What was it like to work with Ravinder and Manjit Minhas of Minhas Micro Distillery in America’s midwest?
They are my heroes. They started their company at the age of 19 and built it into a huge global beer, wine and spirits empire. And yet they’re as down to earth as you can get. Ravinder and I worked closely for six years creating and getting the word out about Artingstall’s and all we do is have fun. It’s the brotherhood of the cocktail.
How did the word ‘brilliant’ end up on the bottle?
When we tasted the final recipe, we all looked at each other and said, ‘oh, that’s brilliant.’ And it stuck.
What’s the nicest thing someone said about the gin?
That they don’t usually like gin but that they love Artingstall’s.
And the least nice?
We had one potential UK distributor turn us down because they said the bottle looked so expensive that we needed to raise our price point, or it wouldn’t sell. I respect their opinion, but Artingstall’s is of the people, for the people!
What do customers use the decanters for once the contents have run dry?
They repurpose them to keep their infusions in, as vases for flowers, or as mood lamps using small strings of LED lights. Later this year we’re going to start selling environmentally friendly refill bags.
Who is your tailor, and what did you get them for Christmas?
Most of my suits are made by Anderson & Sheppard. Sadly, I was back in the US at Christmas because my wife Laurie got Covid and couldn’t travel. So, I owe them a lovely bottle of gin. Wonder which brand I’ll get them?
TASTING NOTE AND SCORE
- Artingstall's Brilliant London Gin
On the nose, beautifully resolved sweet pine, green apple and a hint of rose, then ripe citrus and a hint of violet on the smooth, bulbous palate, which has a very long, very clean finish. Selfishly good, in that mixing it feels unnecessary, hence an ultimate martini gin. 700ml, 42% ABV, £39.95/$49.62
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