MARLO MEETS: MICHAEL VAUGHAN
This week Marlo meets former England cricket captain 'Michael Vaughan'. An illustrious career set Michael out as one of the best England captains in a generation - the pinnacle being leading England to Ashes glory for the first time in 16 years in 2005.
We catch up with Michael and discover more about his latest venture, 'Declaration Gin'. Born out of a vision to create a luxury brand with a delicious tasting gin, Declaration Gin can now be found on the Marlo website.
Plus, for a limited time only, every sale of Declaration Gin on the Marlo website will include a signed card from Michael himself.
1. Tell us a bit about Declaration Gin and how it all started?
Two and a bit years ago, a friend and I started talking about doing something together - we're big gin drinkers and we knew that gin is an alcoholic drink that you can make today, sell tomorrow. So that's pretty much how it started. We created the name - 'Declaration', which obviously stands for a lot in cricket but also in America. We didn't want it to really be linked to me, but just a little name that people could go 'Ooo, yeah that's the ex-England cricket captains gin - Declaration, we get it'.
We then went to find a distillery and ended choosing one which was a bespoke distillery in Wales, where we had it for a day or so, all making our own gin. At the end of it, we got a blind batch of five different gins sent back to us at the house. All the gin is as organic as it possibly can be by the way - the ethanol being the purest ethanol from Italy. So these five little casts of gin arrived back at the house, we had a blind tasting session, and there happened to be one that we all liked. We made sure every ingredient had a little bit of a story about the botanicals - we wanted the ingredients to come from the prominent cricketing world, so there's ginger from Australia, there's the best tea from India, Darjeeling, and there's a bit of liquorice in there from Yorkshire - obviously where I played all my life. So for all of the ingredients we added, there was some kind of affiliation to Cricket - the story is obviously travelling the world, and I've been very lucky to travel to Australia in particular a lot, so we wanted something from there. I absolutely adore India too. So its the three powerhouses; England, Australia, India - that's the story of the gin. The one thing that we made a pact of, is that the brand has to be classy, high-end, and the product obviously has to match that as well - so we're very pleased with how it's ended up and we're starting to get some really good traction which is great.
2. If you were on Desert Island Discs, what would your luxury be?
I'd just take my iPad - Sky go. Then I can watch my sport, and that's all I need.
3. What is your ideal last meal?
It's got to be a Sunday roast - can't beat a Sunday roast. The full trimmings, Yorkshire Pud's, you name it. I'd probably do it in my pizza oven - Sunday's a pizza oven day, whatever you have, you have to have it out the pizza oven.
4. Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?
Tiger. The greatest.
5. What is the best gift you have ever received?
I'm pretty simple - I just like a really nice golf club. Any kind of Golf top which has got a special logo of a special course. I'm very fortunate to of just become a member of Royal Port Rush - so if you're gonna buy me anything special just go to the pro-shop there and that'll do.
6. If you could own one painting in the world what would it be?
I do like Banksy - he's intriguing, a myth. I'm sure there's a few of his stuff kicking about. I bet he's got a team of little people who work for him who just paint and paint - he then gets all the credit and sells them for millions; I think it's the best myth of all time. He's got a bit of kudos about him - I like him.
7. Classic French or New world wine?
I don't think you can beat classic French to be honest. I'm not that fussy in my wines - I like to try all sorts of different regions, I don't generally like to chose one. I do like a very heavy Californian Chardonnay, I think they've developed over the last few years and are properly great. But then again, a nice French red, you'd have to go a long way to beat that.
8. What can we expect from Declaration Drinks in the months? Are there any other spirits in the pipeline?
Well we have a rum in the making. Rum's definitely coming - I don't know what else, we're open to ideas. We've got quite a few people very interested in partnering with us, so who knows. There's also a ready to drink can coming early next year. Finally, we've pretty much done - I can't tell you the company yet, but a collaboration with a very healthy drinks brand where we've mixed together Declaration to make something properly special.