The Swan Takes Flight: Cygnet Gin


It’s Friday, it’s St David’s Day, and what better way to raise a glass than with a distinctly Welsh take on our tipples recommendation…

Celebrity spirits are nothing new, particularly in the world of gin. It is, after all, the quickest-to-market product that can be mustered, and tailored to suit personalities via the botanicals to make its mark.

You’d be forgiven for thinking there’s a craft gin for everyone these days, with dozens now stacking barbacks and spirit shelves up and down the land – but you’d be wrong. The latest addition to the craft gin canon comes from an unlikely source, and has a very captivating take on who it’s aimed at. Katherine Jenkins OBE, the UK’s most successful classical singer, can now add entrepreneur to her portfolio with her own gin, and one with women in mind.

“Talking to my girlfriends,” Katherine says, “we felt there wasn’t a product we felt spoke to us, that we felt loyal to. And if there was a gin that was created for women, it was pink, sugary, flavoured, even childlike. We wanted the grown-up version, and we wanted a statement that said ‘I’m a success in my work, in my friendships…’”

From a desire to break the mould in a traditionally male-dominated spirits industry, Katherine founded Cygnet Gin after discovering a Welsh spirit produced just six miles down the road from where she grew up in Swansea.

“As I was embarking on my singing career,” Katherine says, “I was always told the things I couldn’t drink, including G&T – and ever since then I’ve always thought how much I’d love to create gin that was the best version of itself – and something my singing teacher would be proud of me to drink. So, it really came out of a necessity of something I could have myself.”

Launched in June 2023, Cygnet 22 represents Katherine’s own personal expression; the special significance of ’22’ to Katherine was the age in which she was offered the largest recording deal in classical music history. Cygnet’s outstanding flavour comes from the talented sixth generational Welsh distillation team led by master distiller Aster Sadler, who combines traditional methods in a 300-litre Arnold Holstein copper pot still to produce one of the smoothest gins on the market.

Made using pure Welsh water and 12 carefully selected botanicals, they are an eclectic mix of flavours which include angelica root, chamomile, cardamom, liquorice, and orange peel, as well as the addition of manuka honey, chosen by Katherine for its healing properties.

“When I was working with Aster,” she says, “making the gin personal to me, we talked about ingredients that I use in everyday life, and one of those things is manuka honey, so I threw them a curve ball and asked how could we include manuka honey in this. The result is that it doesn’t come out as sweet, but makes the gin softer and smoother, which makes it lovely just on the rocks.”

With St David’s Day upon us, and International Women’s Day coming up, the Cygnet team joined forces with the mixologists in London’s Disrepute bar and created a range of cocktails that complement not just the botanicals in the gin, but drew on influences in Welsh culture and represent iconic women. From the suffragette-inspired Lady Rhondda, with rose vermouth and coconut, to the plum wine, lime and lavender-infused Cranogwen, named after the poet Sarah Jane Rees, the cocktails are a fitting tribute both to Wales’ leading ladies and the influences of the gin itself.

More than just a distinct gin, however, to make that statement, Katherine and team turned to influential designer Eric Villency, to create a bottle that was both striking and sustainable. Weighing up to 50% less than the average spirits bottle, the Cygnet bottle is a bottle for life with regeneration and upcycling capabilities intrinsic to the design, encouraging consumers to re-use as a water carafe or striking single stem vase.

Cygnet has already been gaining industry recognition within its first year of launch, and sweeping up a clutch of awards in the process. “Like all things in the world,” Katherine concludes, “if you create something out of a genuine need, you’re going to create something that is genuinely good – and then men will want to get in on it, too!”

Cygnet 22 and Cygnet Welsh Dry Gin are available to purchase online at Waitrose, John Lewis, and is available nationwide in-store from selected Waitrose and John Lewis stores, and across Marks & Spencer’s in Wales. Cygnet Gin is also stocked in a number of leading venues and establishments including Searcy’s, The Rosewood Hotel, Madison Hotel & Bar, and Chiltern Firehouse. For more information, including further ideas for cocktail recipes, please visit