The Broker’s Brothers


Broker's Gin founders martin and Andy Dawson in bowlers with brollies

Martin & Andy Dawson… If the hat fits …

Andy Dawson is sitting at the bar in Gerrard at Sutton Place. Between measured sips of her Moét, the woman at the other end is staring at him intently. More precisely (no offence to the eminently handsome Mr. Dawson), she’s actually staring at his hat—which she obviously feels is quite unusual / comical / silly. Choose any one you like. But Mr. Dawson’s bowler—which he wears everywhere (except—perhaps—in bed) always gets plenty of attention.

Broker's London Dry Gin bottles

Classic London Dry …

Andy and his brother Martin are the brains (and the bowlers) behind Broker’s Gin, a relative newbie that’s taking the hallowed world of gin by storm. Broker’s London Dry Gin is indeed very good. In fact it regularly wins big in some pretty serious competitions around the globe, such as New York’s Ultimate Spirits Challenge (World’s Best Gin) and Ultimate Cocktail Challenge (World’s Best Dry Martini), where it’s beaten out some of the biggest names in the gin biz.

Crystal clear in the glass, zesty-citrus, properly junipered, rich, smooth and slightly peppery, Broker’s is a purist gin drinker’s dream—one reason why it’s climbing the charts as the gin of choice for old school martini aficionados. One more is its good value price: $27.99 BCLS. (750 ml.)

That very focused taste profile is deliberate, explains Dawson. He says Broker’s genesis is founded in the fact that, historically, gin was the only spirit distilled in England.

Broker's Gin owner Andy Dawson with Broker's Promise cocktail

Andy, with the Broker’s Promise

Broker’s is made in a 200 year old distillery outside of London using a classic copper pot still and a time-honoured recipe that relies on only the traditional botanicals. That’s in stark contrast to the current trend.

“Over the last ten years there’s been a rash of new gin distillers bringing craft gins to market (which is a good thing, as it’s all helping in gin’s renewal). But most of those makers are using ingredients historically not used,” Dawson explains.

Such as?

“They include a whole variety of flowers—like lavender, dandelion and honeysuckle; fruits and berries such as peach and raspberries.”

“Seeds, weeds, nuts, Frankincense and Myrrh! You name it, they’re all in gin,” he laments.

“Even coconut. You taste it and think: ‘What is this? It tastes like a cross between gin and Malibu! It’s very, very weird…”

Martin Dawson and Broker's Gin bottle

Martin with “The World’s Best Gin”

Now there’s even a Spanish recipe that uses herbs, including Rosemary, Thyme and Basil. And Olives.

“I love them all in my food,” he laughs.

“Just not in my gin…”

That’s not to say the Broker’s chaps don’t appreciate creative drinks—or good bartending—when they see it. The gin’s success with a number of cutting edge bartenders has spanned more than few good concoctions.

The Broker’s Promise combines 2 oz (60 ml.) each Broker’s and Cranberry juice with 1 oz. (30 ml) 7 Up (or something similar) with two sliced strawberries. Put the strawberries in an Old Fashioned glass, cover with ice cubes and stir, for a delicious—and very festive—easy sipping crowd pleaser.

Pidgin Restaurant Mary Ellen Smith - gin, carbonated sake, lime, cucumber juice

Pidgin’s Mary Ellen Smith

Andy also seemed quite impressed with Pidgin’s Mary Ellen Smith —a blend of Broker’s, carbonated sake, lime and cucumber juice.

On the other hand, when it comes to the classic martini they don’t mess around.

The Winston Churchill: Shake 4 oz. (120 ml.) of Broker’s Gin over ice and pour into a chilled martini glass while looking at the Vermouth bottle on the other side of the room. (My Uncle Rick used to say “Just show it the cap!”) Add a twist of lime or an olive.

If the gin itself is inspired, the Broker’s bowler (a miniature adorns every bottle) is sheer genius, as it succinctly proclaims Broker’s origins and dry gin’s roots, right back to the very heart of London’s financial core—where any self respecting stockbroker or banker wouldn’t have been seen dead without bowler or brollie.

Oh. And just in case you were thinking bowler hats and the like are a thing of the past, stay tuned


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