Only the be-gin-ning

Round & About


Two favourite worlds of beauty and booze combine to create Collagin.

Gin has become the drink over the past few years and Liz Beswick and Camilla Brown decided they wanted to “create a truly beautiful looking product with a taste that matched”.

The self-proclaimed “gintrepreneurs” formed Young in Spirit and set about the process to set up a company and create their own gin.

But their gin has one unique ingredient that can’t be found in any other on the market – collagen.

The idea came from their desire to combine their two favourite worlds of beauty and booze, and what they’ve come up with is a deliciously smooth and fragrant gin with added collagen, creating what Liz describes as a “surprise and delight product that gets people talking”.

“Collagen is a protein found naturally in our skin that keeps skin looking young. Consuming it can help stimulate collagen production again. But we are making alcohol at the end of the day so we are not going to make you look younger.

“People love the concept! Collagen in gin? Why not!” she quips.
In addition to the collagen, 11 botanicals combine with earthy liquorice and floral notes of orris root, balanced by the clean taste of juniper and the tang of orange.

But they didn’t stop there… A pink twist on the original gin was born in the form of the limited edition Collagin Rose – using the basic principles of a classic gin, with rose oil steam distilled from rose petals as well as pink grapefruit producing a subtle rose sweetness.

Together with the new wave of gins, new tonic waters have helped give gins a fresh lease of life, creating what Liz calls “an exciting drink right now with so many options for every drinker”.

Liz and Camilla were colleagues, having worked in marketing, and after lots of 6am meetings in car parks and working evenings and weekends at each other’s houses decided they would set their dream in motion.

Lots of Googling later and the pair, based in Chalgrove, began their search for the right distillery and then took some time to find the right type of collagen that wouldn’t affect the look, smell or taste of the gin.

They obviously hit on a winning formula as it received the backing of two investors when they appeared on Dragons’ Den in September.
Liz recalls the terrifying day which lasted from 6.30am to 5.30pm. She says: “When the lift doors opened it was very surreal seeing the Dragons sitting in their chairs, just how you see them on TV. We had a bit of a ‘pinch me’ moment when we realised we were standing in front of them.”

But after standing before the panel making their pitch, which lasted just under two hours, they finally got their “dream result”.

And from that dream, there are now plans for more products and future events including Countryfile Live at Blenheim in August.

So how is Collagin best served? Liz’s advice – the original with pink grapefruit and light tonic water and the Rose with an unflavoured tonic and fresh rose petals or mint.