Gordon's Gin Celebrates 250 Years Anniversary

Gordon’s, the world’s number one best-selling gin, is celebrating its 250th anniversary, having been first distilled in 1769.


Alexander Gordon was one of the first to pioneer the distillation of fine quality gin. In 1769 he founded his distilling business in the Southwark area of London and began perfecting his own brand using only the finest natural botanical ingredients.

By 1800 Gordon’s was in almost every corner of the globe. Gordon's was a pioneer in the cocktail space, launching the first Cocktail Shaker bottle in 1924 in response to the growing trend of cocktail parties but people not being sure on how to make them correctly.

Since 1925, Gordon’s has been granted four Royal Warrants and by the 1960s had achieved the status of being the world’s best-selling international gin brand.

In 2019, the gin now sells a bottle every 3 seconds[1] and, with 250 years of history and leadership in the category, Gordon’s is growing 56% in the UK and 28% globally[2]

Gordon’s has stayed true to its long history, with the Gordon’s gin recipe being made to the same exceptional standards since 1769, whilst continuing to innovate to shape and respond to changing trends.

Gordon’s Premium Pink, launched in 2017, was the most successful new spirits product development in Great Britain in the last decade[3]. Gordon’s Ultra Low Alcohol Gin and Tonic flavoured drink, launched the following year, went on to be named as the best ‘low alcohol’ drink in the 2018 Grocer Drinks Awards[4].

Gordon's Pink Gin Cocktail

“In its 250th year Gordon’s is a brand that is as relevant to consumers today as it was in 1769. Gordon’s has defined the world’s taste for gin and through consistent innovation offers a portfolio that reaches every occasion for every consumer. At a time when gin has never been a more popular category and is in high levels of growth in many parts of the world, for me, Gordon’s is very much 250 years young.”

Kathy Parker

Senior Vice President for Gordon’s

“We are proud custodians of Gordon’s, an internationally renowned brand built over hundreds of years. The entrepreneurial spirit and determination passed down by Alexander Gordon continues to inspire this iconic brand today. We have items dating from the 1700s in our archive, from old recipe books and bottles, to vintage advertising. The collection continually inspires all who work on Gordon’s Gin, and ensures everything we do for the brand is rooted in authenticity.”

Joanne McKercher

Diageo's Gin Archivist and Historian

“Gin is enjoying a considerable resurgence. With around 100 gin brands in the UK alone, it is continuing testament to the success of the recipe developed by Alexander Gordon in 1769, that his classically profiled gin, the eponymous Gordon’s, is still going so strong. 250 years this year and it remains the best-selling London Dry gin in both the UK and World-wide. A birthday that is definitely worth celebrating with a G&T.”

Nicholas Cook

Director General, The Gin Guild

Top Ten Gordon's Facts

  1. Our copper still ‘Old Tom’ from 1769 is still used to produce exceptionally high-quality gin.
  2. In the 1850s, Australians loved their Gordon’s Gin so much they paid for it with gold dust.
  3. Gordon's was the gin of choice for James Bond, who insists in Casino Royale that his Vesper Martini is made with Gordon's Gin.
  4. Sloe Gin was the first Gordon’s flavour innovation and launched in 1906.
  5. By 1800 Gordon’s Gin reached every corner of the globe, largely due to the British Navy and sailors who carried it with them on their voyages.
  6. Gordon’s matures its junipers for 18 months to create the best flavour.
  7. Only six people in the world know the secret recipe to make Gordon’s gin.
  8. Legend has it that a member of the Gordon family once saved the King of Scotland from a boar whilst out on a hunting trip. To thank him for his bravery, the symbol of a boar’s head was placed on the Gordon family coat of arms and has featured on the bottle since 1909.
  9. Over 3 million Gordon’s and Tonics are enjoyed globally every day[7].
  10. Gordon’s award winning taste has come out top in blind taste tests, winning 15 awards at the world’s best spirit competitions in the last 5 years.

1 IWSR 2018 – volume growth 2018 vs 2016
2 IWSR 2018
Based on £RSV in the first 14 weeks since launch in the off-trade only. Data provided from Nielsen Scantrack and dated back to 1 June 2007.
4 Grocer Drink Awards 2018