Meet the Team introduces you to the writers and experts behind Gin Magazine and gin-mag.com, as they talk about their lives both in and outside the gin world. This week, we meet Caroline Ashford, a.k.a. the Gin Queen. Named Communicator of the Year at the 2020 Icons of Gin awards, Caroline is a gin writer and judge with a prodigious knowledge of gin makers in her adopted home country. She is also an Australian ambassador for World Gin Day, and a partner and organiser for Junipalooza Melbourne. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @theginqueen.
Gin Magazine (GM): How did you end up in the gin world and what do you like most about working in it?
Caroline Ashford (CA): After emigrating to Australia in 2011 I went looking for local gins. After finding half a dozen and going on about them to friends, one of my mates suggested I start writing about gin in general. I like the people the most. Distillers are seriously the best, funnest and most inspirational people to hang out with.
GM: What did you do in your pre-gin life?
CA: I worked in marketing, first in educational publishing and then for a fragrance and cosmetic subsidiary of Gucci.
GM: What’s the best piece of career or life advice you’ve been given?
CA: I can’t think of anything in particular but I do like this one from Richard Branson: If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!
GM: What moments or occasions have you reaching for a gin?
CA: I’m never too far away from a gin. I’m usually tasting/evaluating during the day! Evenings out start with a French 75 followed by a Martini or two and end with a Negroni.
GM: What would be your ideal holiday destination and activities?
CA: So many! I had plans to visit New Zealand to do some gin judging in 2020, but Covid scuppered that! Going back to London is always a treat, but I’m happiest exploring Australia. I love it so much.
GM: If you were a gin or a gin cocktail, what would you be?
CA: A French 75 – fun, bubbly, but don’t underestimate its power!