1 April 2019
Proud purveyors of London’s spirit – Portobello Road Gin – have collaborated with legendary rock musician and Dire Straits frontman, Mark Knopfler OBE, to launch a distinctive, special edition ‘rock n roll’ gin this March.
Mark Knopfler – who is a passionate gin fan and former Notting Hill local – worked with Portobello Road Gin’s co-founder, Jake F. Burger to create Local Heroes No.3, which is a bold gin that combines Portobello Road Gin’s nine signature botanicals with lime zest, fresh cucumber peel and olive oil. The unique combination of botanicals results in a robustly ginny profile with strong spice flavour and heat which are quickly tempered by the coolness of cucumber.
Named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the fifty greatest guitarists of all time, Mark Knopfler is an acclaimed singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and film score composer. He is best known as the lead singer, lead guitarist and songwriter of internationally celebrated rock band Dire Straits, as well as founder of roots band The Notting Hillbillies, having spent many years living in the area and recording ‘Portobello Belle’ inspired by the streets of his adopted home.
The launch of Local Heroes No.3 coincides with the opening of a new stage musical adaptation of the classic Scottish film, Local Hero, which features brand new music and lyrics by Mark. The musical opens on March 23rd at the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh before transferring to The Old Vic in June 2020. From 25th April, Mark will embark on a global tour in support of his recent ninth studio album, Down The Road Wherever.
Each of the limited edition, artisan bottles made will be distilled on Portobello Road in their 400L copper alembic still King Henry, then bottled and labelled by hand. The bottle’s decorative label design was led by Mark and is inspired by his passion for guitars. On the inside label of each bottle, there is an image of Mark’s famous 1937 14-fret National Style “O” Resonator. There is also a nod to the days when Mark would sport a headband for his live performances, so each bottle comes with its own miniature version in red.
The concept of Local Heroes was created as a project by Portobello Road Gin, to celebrate a ‘local hero’ that encapsulates the spirit of the area and the brand. Previous editions have seen Portobello Road Gin working with Brett Graham, head chef and proprietor of Notting Hill restaurant nonpareil; The Ledbury, and Italian Masterchef judge and culinary maestro Carlo Cracco for the Italian market..
Mark Knopfler OBE says: “2019 is an exciting year with the launch of the Local Hero musical, a global tour and of course the launch of my new limited edition gin in collaboration with Portobello Road Gin.
“As a gin fan, it is a wonderful opportunity to work with a prestigious brand like Portobello Road Gin to craft my own blend. This project allowed us to share our vision and I’m incredibly proud of the results. It is robust in flavour and strong in spice – exactly the kind of gin that I enjoy and I hope my fans will too.”
Jake F. Burger, co-founder of Portobello Road Gin commented: “It is a huge honour to be able to work with Mark to create a London Dry Gin with a rock n roll edge.
“The Local Heroes collection is an occasional release of very limited edition gins created in collaboration with some of our own personal heroes and people whom we feel best to embody the spirit of Portobello Road.
“Mark was introduced to us by our previous Local Hero, Brett Graham. After meeting with Mark and his management team for lunch and bonding over a mutual love of music and gin, the collaboration was agreed.
“I worked closely with Mark to create the recipe, which was guided by his preferred gin styles. As a Portobello Road Gin fan, Mark expressed an interest in creating a more summery take on our signature blend that is also bold in flavour. To create this, we distilled our nine-time honoured botanicals adding lime zest, fresh cucumber peel and somewhat uniquely, olive oil. As expected, the flavours are totally unique and we believe the result is extremely exciting.”
“The addition of olive oil results in a wonderfully smooth finish making it a great gin for Martinis and Gibsons, which of course shares its name with the iconic guitar brand. So why not mix yourself a cocktail, turn the stereo up and listen to one of Mark’s many classic albums?”
Local Heroes No.3 is available to purchase from Portobello Road Gin’s online store as well as The Distillery’s specialist Bottle Shop on Portobello Road.