They say you should never work with animals - unless they happen to be not only one of the cutest animals on the planet but the happiest too. Can we introduce you to the Quokka, one of those weird and wonderful animals that can only come out of Australia. Part of the wallaby family the Quokka has become a favourite of the selfie generation as it simply cannot stop smiling, which is what the founder, Sid Patel, of Quokka Gin, wants you to do every time you have a sip. Here he shares the story of Quokka Gin.
You have not just created another gin with Quokka Gin, but are on a bit of a mission - what is that?
That’s nice of you to say so, but, yes, we wanted to create a drink that could be a happy moment for people to look forward and to enjoy. We want to use Quokka Gin to promote happiness, and well-being and build a community of happy and optimistic people who are willing to share and support each other.
So why the name Quokka?
The Quokka has earned a reputation as the world’s happiest animal as it is always smiling. That’s how we want our Quokka brand to make you feel. That moment in the day when you can stop. Push things aside and just relax at the moment and pour yourself a Quokka gin and celebrate the life we have together and all the good we can do for each other. When people see the name and sip the gin, I want them to smile and reflect on how great their life is.
It’s why we have created five key values around which the brand sits and aspires to achieve in everything we do, from the quality of the liquid to the bottle, the packaging, the label, and the design to how it is sold. Those key values are optimism; positivity; kindness; gratitude; and empathy.
That’s why we have introduced it as a direct-to-consumer brand. We want to take Quokka direct to those gin lovers who are looking for something new, a super quality gin that has been made for them to enjoy at home and with their family and friends. A gin we know matches the values they have and what they want to see in the brands they invest in and support.
Let’s take a look at the gin. What qualities does it have that make it stand out from the competition - and make you smile?
If we are going to make people happy then we have to give them the best possible tasting gin they can find. That was the number one goal. From day one we worked hand-in-hand with some of the world’s top bartenders to ask them what they look for in a super-quality gin. We then involved them, and other taste consultants, at each stage of the development process to get their feedback and suggestions on how we could improve, tone down, adapt, and improve the recipe we had.
In my other work running the Beverage Trade Network, I have built up a very good network of bartenders, mixologists, and bar managers who have been very good at sharing their time and expertise in helping us craft what they also see as a 100-point gin. We were able to work with 15 of London's top bartenders and ask them to taste and evaluate the product at each stage with the distiller and their team. It meant painstakingly going back and forth to make sure we had the recipe we were, appropriately enough, all happy with.
What style of gin were you looking to make?
You have to taste it in order to really appreciate the combinations of flavors and botanicals. But it is, rest assured, not like anything else you have tasted before. We wanted to create a gin that the world’s best bartenders would be proud to have on their back bar. But, crucially, a premium cocktail bar gin that can only be bought by consumers to enjoy at home with their friends and family.
We want people to feel special every time they receive a bottle of Quokka gin. To know this is a gin that even the world’s best bartenders can’t have in their venues - even though they helped create it.
A super quality gin that has been made for you to enjoy at home to make the classics like you have not been able to do before. Perfect for a gin and tonic, a classy martini, or stylish Negroni.
What position do you think Quokka now has on the gin market?
As a new brand, we know we have to earn every sale that might come our way. We have to build the respect and loyalty of our customers and, most of all, we have to make them happy. That’s the number one goal and sign of success. Like great food, after the first sip, you will want to take another and share that happy experience with others. If you don’t, we are not doing our job right.
Other than the quality of the liquid what makes Quokka gin stand out?
When you see Quokka, you know it’s coming from passionate drinks professionals who understand the spirits business and have been in the game for over 20 years. It’s a brand that has been crafted by drinks experts, by top bartenders from some of the best and most prestigious bars in the world. Their job every day, every shift is to make their customers happy with the drinks they create. That’s what they and we have done with Quokka gin. A gin to make you happy, a gin to make you smile. A gin to enjoy in the comfort of your own home, with friends and family, and on special occasions. A gin that can become part of your life’s happiest moments.
After all, when you see people smile and be happy, it’s contagious. That’s what Quokka gin is all about.