Club raise a glass of most expensive gin in Pete’s memory

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IT IS the most expensive gin in the world and only six bottles of it are available in the UK every year.

And on Saturday the Portsmouth-based 4-2-8 Gin Club opened up a bottle of Watenshi gin and shared a drink in memory of their former chairman Peter Ruddock.

The 4-2-8 Gin Club members raise their glasses of Watenshi Gin to the sky with Cambridge Distillery Commercial Manager Robin Warren-Adamson.  Picture: Vernon Nash

The 4-2-8 Gin Club members raise their glasses of Watenshi Gin to the sky with Cambridge Distillery Commercial Manager Robin Warren-Adamson. Picture: Vernon Nash

The exclusive drink, made by The Cambridge Distillery, is only sold at Selfridges in London for £2,000 and has a very long waiting list.

The 4-2-8 Gin Club wrote to Selfridges explaining they wanted to remember Pete with the special gin and were lucky enough to be able to purchase a bottle which was ordered but never collected.

It was the fourth bottle of the first batch ever made.

The members gathered at Pete’s memorial bench, in Eastney, and made a toast in remembrance of a man described as ‘larger than life’ 

Chairman Robin Wilson said: ‘All of us here really do miss Pete. Today wasn’t about being miserable, that would have been the furthest thing from Pete.

‘He was always a really uplifting guy and was always laughing. This was the perfect way to remember him and pay tribute.’

Robin Warren-Adamson, commercial manager at The Cambridge Distillery, attended the event to explain how Watenshi gin is made and hand over the bottle which is made from blown glass and has a silver-plated feather.

The 4-2-8 Gin Club, who meet at the White Horse in Southsea, has 17 members all of who love gin.

When members go abroad, they always buy a bottle and so far the club has tried more than 200 kinds.

It was started in 2015 and Pete, who helped found the group, got to enjoy it for a year before sadly dying in 2016 aged 64.

Jake Adams, who helped secure the bottle of Watenshi, said: ‘Pete was a really lovely man. “Happy days” was his phrase and it was his idea originally to get the bottle of Watenshi. He was a larger than life man.’

In a toast to Pete along Eastney seafront with the gin, Robin added: ‘Today is dedicated in part to sampling this most expensive of gins and we do this in the fond memories of Pete.

‘A toast to Pete. Here was a man of constant dos, here was a man of tickety boos.

‘Here was a man of friendly ways, here was a man of happy days.’

As part of the event, the 4-2-8 Gin Club also donated a cheque of £1,000 to the Rowans Hospice.