Tom Nichol wins Lifetime Achievement Award (and a bloody good job too!)

ByThe Cocktail Lovers

SHARE

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

On Thursday evening Tom Nichol, Tanqueray Master Distiller became the second ever person to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gin Guild. With good reason. With 42 years of hard work creating one of the world’s best loved gins under his belt, he blooming well deserves it. We caught up with him the day after to share our appreciation of his exceptional talent, fantastic personality and of course, those excellent gins.

Congratulations on your Lifetime Achievement Award, how did receiving it honestly make you feel?

It was amazing. I wasn’t expecting anything like that at all. One of the things it really brought home to me though was I am actually retiring. It made things feel very final. But to be recognised by these amazing people is something really special – I must admit, there were so many people in that room that were more deserving of that award than me. People like Desmond Payne at Beefeater. I’ve always looked up to him – he’s my hero. The night was very special.

What’s been your memorable part of your career?

42 years in the same industry is kind of boring but I wouldn’t change a thing. What’s been the most memorable? All of it. I guess when I was asked to become Master Distiller for Tanqueray was pretty up there – I was determined to get that job, I gave the best interview of my life for it.

Over the past 42 years Tom Nichol and Tanqueray have become inextricably linked, how does it feel to be leaving the business?

You need to know when it’s time you need to go and for me, that time has come. Tanqueray needs new blood as well. I may be kept on as some kind of ambassador if they want me, if not then so be it.

When will your last day be?

July 3rd. I chose that date for a reason – the next day is Independence Day!

What will you miss most about the job?

I’ll miss the Tanqueray people, we’re a great family. They’ll still be there but in a year’s time, Tom Nichol will be in the past – that will be hard for me and I guess it will be quite difficult to move on. I really hope we’ll still be friends.

So how will you be filling your days come July 4th?

I’ll be getting my life back! I’m looking forward to walking, taking up hill climbing again, fishing – not killing them, just catching then releasing them back into the water. I also want to buy a motorbike…

Whoa, a motor bike? Are we talking moped or Harley style?

Definitely not a moped, I may as well get a pushbike! No, I want a really nice bike so I can go riding in the summer. My wife Gillian is retired too and we’ll both need our space.

What advice would you give to any aspiring Tom Nichol’s?

Be honest, be prepared to put in lots of hard work, know what you’re talking about, don’t think its glamorous because it isn’t, Sure you get to travel and stay in lots of fancy hotels but half of the time you don’t get to see the countries you’re in – it really is harder than it seems. If you’re prepared for that and you’re really passionate, it’s one of the best jobs I can think of.

If you could distil your character into a gin, what botanicals would you choose and why?

That’s the best question I’ve ever been asked! Can I get back to you on that one?…

The full interview will appear in issue 16 of The Cocktail Lovers magazine, available August.

The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers are Mr G and Ms S, a man and a woman who share a passion for cocktails. (We also happen to be married, so we’re cocktail lovers in more ways than one…)

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Be the first to hear the latest news, get sneaky peeks inside upcoming issues of The Cocktail Lovers magazine, receive special offers and lots more. (And we promise we won’t share your details with anyone else).

To get the latest copy of our gorgeous print magazine just click on the cover!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

THE MAGAZINE

The Cocktail Lovers magazine is packed with features, fashion, food, travel, interviews, news, recipes – all written from a cocktail lover’s perspective. Published four times a year, take your pick from the luxurious print edition or get your fix in the page-turning digital format – either way, it couldn’t be easier to start a subscription or order back issues. And why keep all the cocktail goodness to yourself? Share the love by setting up a gift subscription. We ship pretty much everywhere in the world, so we’ve got you covered. Start your subscription today!

The_Cocktail_Lovers_Magazine_Issue_35_Cover
The_Cocktail_Lovers_Magazine_Issue_35_Cover

JOIN us!

Join us at The Cocktail Lovers and be the first to hear the latest news, get our new magazine and receive specials offers. (And we don’t share your details with anyone else.)