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Shakespeare 400th Anniversary

On the 23rd April 2016, Stratford upon Avon commemorated the 400th anniversary of the death of its most famous son and resident, William Shakespeare. The town was awash with visitors and dignitaries, along with a smattering of RSC actors and celebrities, not to mention HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. To cap it all the sun was also shining!

We were delighted to have been approached by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to create a cocktail for their evening event and we also took the opportunity to greet the crowds and offer samples of our gin, outside one of our Stratford stockists, Vinology.

Virology Sampling

Gin Tasting outside Vinology

The weekend also saw the launch of our newest product, Mulberry Gin, made by steeping black Mulberries in our very own Stratford Gin, for around two months. Shakespeare very famously planted a Mulberry Tree in his garden in New Place in Stratford, so this is our tribute to him and our twist on the usual Sloe gin.

The chance to get feedback from potential customers was fantastic and it’s fair to say they loved it. Many relished the idea of making cocktails, sampling with sparkling wine, or indeed sipping it neat or over ice.

We reckon we must have sampled to around 175-200 people on Saturday afternoon so all-in-all a job well done!

In the evening it was all about the event at Shakespeare’s birthplace, and the first outing of the cocktail created specially for the occasion, the Mulberry 400, our take on a classic French 75!


Mulberry 400

Mulberry 400



Mulberry 400 cocktail

  • 25ml Mulberry Gin
  • 10ml Lemon Juice
  • 5ml Sugar Syrup
  • Brut Champagne, Prosecco or Cava

Combine together the Mulberry Gin, Lemon Juice and Sugar Syrup and pour into a champagne flute. Top up with Brut Champagne or your choice of sparkling wine.


The event was a great success and over 200 invited guests were served the cocktail, along with samples of Stratford Gin and Mulberry Gin, tasted neat! The team at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust even crafted a giant ‘W’ out of champagne flutes to welcome their guests.


Simon and the actors

Simon & the Kentucky Shakespeare actors




We were also lucky to meet the troop of actors from Kentucky Shakespeare (@kyshakespeare) that had travelled all the way from Louisville, USA to be part of  the weekend’s celebrations. They present the oldest free Shakespeare Festival in the United States and this year are about to perform Romeo & Juliet, Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Winter’s Tale in their 56th season. Check out their website if you are going to be in Louisville in the next few months. Of course, they wanted to take some Mulberry Gin samples back home with them!



Simon and Dr Diana Owen, CEO

Dr Diana Owen samples Stratford Gin (as Will watches on!)



Thank you to all the team at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust including Dr Diana Owen (CEO) and Jackie Mackenzie, Hospitality Manager for asking us to be involved in this exciting event.