Sainsbury’s to stock low-alcohol ‘clean’ gin made by Pippa Middleton’s brother-Spencer Matthews that he claims leaves drinkers safe to drive after 61 G&Ts
- Low-alcohol tipple CleanGin is the brainchild of former Made In Chelsea star
- Spencer Matthews, 31, gave up alcohol 18 months ago after his partying days
- The Clean Liquor Company aims to cater for growing numbers of teetotallers
Pippa Middleton and Spencer Matthews at the launch of The Clean Liquor Company in London
It was once guzzled in such large quantities it earned the nickname mother’s ruin.
But now gin is getting a teetotal makeover.
From January, Sainsbury’s will stock a version of the spirit with so little alcohol that its makers claim you can knock back 62 G&Ts before it becomes unsafe to drive.
Called CleanGin, the new low-alcohol tipple is the brainchild of Pippa Middleton’s brother-in-law, the former Made In Chelsea reality TV star Spencer Matthews.
It will initially be stocked in 496 Sainsbury’s supermarkets and Matthews says he is in talks about supplying a number of pub, bar and hotel groups.
The 31-year-old, who gained a reputation as a lothario on Made In Chelsea and was a regular on the London social scene, gave up alcohol 18 months ago.
He now has a one-year-old son, Theodore, with his wife, Irish model Vogue Williams, and says he called time on his partying days to carve out a career as a serious businessman.
His new venture, called The Clean Liquor Company, aims to cater for Britain’s growing numbers of teetotallers with a range of low and no-alcohol spirits.
Clean rum and whisky drinks are also in the pipeline, plus a ‘Clean Green’ spirit containing no alcohol at all to cater for Muslim countries and those who abstain from alcohol completely. The botanical-infused CleanGin drink contains 1.2 per cent alcohol by volume.
Matthews told The Mail on Sunday that you could swap one G&T containing the typical 37.5 per cent ABV for 31 ‘clean’ gin and tonics – meaning drinkers would have to consume 62 G&Ts made with his new product to be ‘anywhere near the limit’.
‘You can drink CleanGin to your heart’s content all night long and always drive home,’ he said.
The Clean Liquor Company, aims to cater for Britain’s growing numbers of teetotallers with a range of low and no-alcohol spirits
But you would risk one hangover – the effect on your waistline. Putting away 62 clean gins would add up to a massive 3,658 calories.
Matthews and business partner Justin Hicklin got the Clean Liquor Company off the ground thanks to a £1 million investment from ‘a number of friends and a couple of family members’.
Matthews’s father David made a fortune in mining and luxury coaches and owns the A-List Eden Rock resort on St Barts in the Caribbean.
Older brother James, who is a wealthy investment manager, is married to Pippa Middleton, the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge.
The £1 million start-up funding will be matched in the coming months by a seven-figure investment from a US venture capital fund. The Clean Liquor Company will sell its low-alcohol spirits through its website, promoted by its Instagram page, which has 62,500 followers.
Matthews hopes to work with other major supermarkets once his exclusive deal with Sainsbury’s ends.
The firm aims to launch a low-alcohol drink in every major spirits category, in partnership with Union Distillers in Market Harborough, Leicestershire.
Matthews said: ‘My dream is to be in the majority of the major spirit categories with no or low alcohol so you can enjoy any drink at all: a clean Mojito, a clean Cuba Libre, a clean Whisky Sour.’
He added: ‘We aim to do what vaping did for smoking in terms of helping people make a health-conscious decision.’
The UK market for low and no-alcohol drinks is worth more than £200 million, with sales of clean spirits expected to increase by 80 per cent by 2022.
Industry forecasts show clean drinks could account for a quarter of all alcohol sales by 2025, as drinks giants such as Pernod Ricard and Diageo cash in on the trend led by younger drinkers for moderating alcohol consumption.