Beefeater Gin’s history can be traced to 1862 when James Burke purchased the Chelsea distillery from Rectifier & Compoundor John Taylor for £ 400 and began producing his distinctive style of Gin by 1863. Initially, the distillery continued making liqueurs started by their previous owners, further establishing its reputation and extending its customer base.
The 1876 company stocks listed showed an increasing portfolio of Gins with brand names such as “Ye Olde Chelsea” and “James Burroughs London Dry,” as well as “Old Tom.” By experimenting with recipes, inventing new methods, and using them, he discovered that blending a particular formula of botanicals produces a bold, full-bodied gin, which he called Beefeater Gin.
Beefeater was under the Burrough family’s control until its sale to Peron Ricard in 1987. It is a 47 percent or 44 percent alcohol product (94 proof), depending on where you live, in the United States, and a 40 percent alcohol product (80 proof), depending on where else you live outside the United States. The Beefeater Distillery is one of 24 distilleries in London.
It’s named after the Yeoman of the Guard, a bodyguard of the King of England.
After the almost instantaneous success of the gin, the James Burrough Company quickly became its flagship brand. The original Beefeater recipe book from 1895 specifies that nine botanicals are essential (junipers, angelicas roots, angelicas seeds, coriander seeds, licorice root, almonds, orris roots, Seville oranges, lemons, and lemon peels) to create the full-bodied and robust flavor so distinctive in this gin.