Entrepreneur launches CBD-infused gin from St Albans kitchen
PUBLISHED: 17:02 18 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:25 02 January 2020
A St Albans woman has launched a CBD-infused gin on a shoestring budget of £1,300 after testing out the idea in her kitchen on Lattimore Road.
Sally Wynter, 24, tried out several different recipes after calling distilleries and asking them how gin was made before coming up with her own beverage, called Sweet Hibiscus.
The drink was inspired by Sally's travels around Asia and is the first in a line of CBD-infused beverages Sally intends to launch with her brand MUHU.
Sally said: "Asia is a whole other world; it makes London look like grayscale.
"I tried to capture everything I loved about travelling and getting away from the nine-to-five. I tried to put the sense of freedom you get from travelling into a bottle.
"What other brands don't do is concentrate on the experience you're having while you're drinking. I saw an opportunity to do something different with the brand."
CBD, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, is a colourless, flavourless mood booster that Sally has been adding to her own cocktails for years.
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Sally first began developing the idea for the own beverage by adding different ingredients to her favourite tipple.
Sally explained: "Gin is essentially made from vodka, or any neutral base spirit, which you simply add botanicals to.
"The market leading flavoured gins were very sweet and had a lot of added sugar. I wanted to create a gin that was naturally sweet, floral and light."
But MUHU and Sweet Hibiscus almost didn't happen.
Sally said: "The big knockback for me came quite early in February this year. The CBD was turning the gin cloudy. It looked like dirty dishwater."
In order to fix this problem Sally was told by distilleries that she would have to do product tests and sampling costing tens of thousands of pounds she did not have. Luckily a distillery she had partnered up with offered to do the tests for free because they liked the product so much.
"The smaller distillery I was working with, who were initially only lined-up to bottle the liquid and put the label on said, okay we'll do the tests for you. That was a massive breakthrough."
Sally is now looking for investors and to make more flavour variations. Lemongrass is the next Asia-inspired flavour on Sally's list as well as developing a CBD-infused G&T in a can.