Kokoro Gin signs up with Mangrove

Kokoro Gin has agreed an exclusive UK distribution deal with specialist spirits agency Mangrove.

The deal will see the Japanese-inspired London Dry Gin marketed to off-trade, wholesalers, independents, supermarkets, on-trade and other retailers through Mangrove’s network.

Kokoro was launched in September 2016, with its first batch selling out in two months. Its core ingredients, sansho berries, are hand-picked ad imported to the UK from the Afan Woodland, a sustainable forest in the Nagano region of Japan. Used extensively in Japanese cuisine, sansho berries have a distinctive pepper flavour with a citrus aftertaste. Sansho berries are combined with eight other botanicals to create Kokoro Gin.

James Nichol, managing director at Forest Spirits, which produces Kokoro Gin, said: “Our deal with Mangrove will allow us to take Kokoro Gin to a larger market. We know that Mangrove only works with the highest quality products, so this is a perfect partnership. It is a significant step for us in growing the brand.”

Nick Gillett, managing director of Mangrove, said: “Kokoro Gin expands our gin selection, offering a point of difference for our customers. The addition of sansho berries produces a gin with oriental nuances, adding unique flavours compared to the traditional style of gin.”

Forest Spirits was formed by entrepreneurial duo, James Nicol and Barry Darnell. The brothers-in-law, who are financial consultant and design agency heads by day, were inspired by a family connection to the Afan woodland in Japane, where sansho berries grow. Nicol’s uncle is a lifelong environmentalist and author who bought the Afan woodland in the 1980s and donated it to the Woodland Trust. It is now home to more than 50 endangered species.  

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