The Hayman gin distilling story starts in 1863 when James Burrough, a charismatic London pharmacist opened a small distillery in Cale Street, Chelsea (then spelt as Chelsey). He experimented with a number of gin recipes, giving them names such as Burrough’s, Olde Chelsey, Beefeater and Black Cat. At that time, London’s gin of choice was Old Tom Gin, however James was busy pioneering a drier style that we know today as London Dry Gin.
James was the great grandfather of Christopher Hayman and the Hayman family have been distilling gin ever since.
In the same way as many a family business that has been around for more than 150 years, the Hayman gin journey has been full of twists and turns – from global conflicts, prohibition and dips in gin trends. A major turn came in 1987 when the family business was sold. A disappointed Christopher promptly purchased back one part of the business so that he could continue the family’s gin distilling journey.
Today Hayman’s is based in Balham, South West London and only a few miles from the original family distillery in Chelsea. Christopher’s children James and Miranda now run Hayman’s -while sharing the same passion and affection for gin. Christopher, Hayman’s Master Distiller, is often seen in the distillery, taking an active role in the distillery process and sharing his knowledge. In 2019, he celebrated 50 years of working in gin, which was marked by introducing Hayman’s Rare Cut – our London Dry cut at 50% – the perfect strength for a Martini – Christopher’s favourite cocktail.
The Hayman Family
“I always enjoyed visiting Dad at the distillery when I was younger. The distinct smell of botanicals was so intense that it left a lasting impression – I always hoped that I might work in the family company one day.”
“One of my favourite memories of gin are from my student days in Spain. There’s nothing better than relaxing with a refreshing gin and tonic and sharing delicious tapas with friends.”
“I remember watching from the window as the wooden crates of gin were delivered to my parents’ house in the company van. My father’s favourite tipple was a Bronx gin cocktail.”