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Plymouth Gin Distillery

Black Friars Distillery and home of world famous Plymouth Gin reopens after refurbishment.

Current affairs 1961 1 mins Silent

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Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


The Duke and Duchess of Bedford arrive to open the redeveloped Black Friars Distillery, home of Plymouth Gin on the Barbican and in operation since 1793. The business was known as Coates until the brand was sold and then bought out by French company Pernod Ricard. Plymouth gin comes also in Navy strength of 57% ABV and is traditional to the British Royal Navy who helped popularise gin around the world. Duchess Nicole was one of the first female television producers in France.

All Royal Navy newly commissioned vessels receive Plymouth Gin and historically a Mahogany is the sailor's tipple of two parts Plymouth Gin to one part treacle. In India gin was taken with tonic because the quinine helps with malaria and gives rise to the ever popular Gin and Tonic and in the 1920s Plymouth Gin is named as the gin of choice for dry martinis and other gin-based cocktails at the Savoy Hotel in London. Gin is made from distilling juniper berries and this distilling plant is thought to have originally come from Dominican Monks and has an association with the Pilgrim Fathers and the Mayflower sailing in 1620; both a monk and a square-rigged three-masted merchant ship appear on Plymouth Gin labels.