Katherine Jenkins OBE today announces the launch of Cygnet. Having discovered a little-known Welsh spirit in 2021, and realising it was being made six miles down the road from where she grew up, Katherine was inspired to create her own range of premium spirits, crafted in her home country of Wales. Katherine is the first female founder of a celebrity gin range.
Katherine says, “Being a professional music artist, I know that passion, perfection and dedication are what you need to create a memorable performance. And so I have crafted my Cygnet Gin in the same way that I have approached my singing career, with the deepest respect for my audience, striving for a 'best in glass’ experience that reflects all the values I hold close to my heart.”
The Cygnet range includes a repackaged and refined version of Cygnet Welsh Dry Gin, which allowed Katherine to apply her strong commitment to quality and sustainability. Katherine’s own personal gin expression progressed further with the launch of Cygnet 22.
Cygnet Welsh Dry Gin and Cygnet 22 Gin are available to pre-order in the UK from www.cygnet-distillery.com at an RRP of £35 and £47.50, respectively and will be rolling out to retailers and the on-trade in the UK and to other global markets later this year.
The Cygnet name is inspired by a baby swan, the animal symbolic of Swansea and the use of the number 22 for Cygnet 22 has special significance for Katherine as the expression was created in the year 2022, using 22 botanicals. Notably, Katherine was 22 years old when she was offered the largest recording deal in classical music history, so the number is close to her heart.
In collaboration with her husband Andrew Levitas, the artist and social-impact filmmaker and Eric Villency, who designed products such as Peloton and Rock Star Energy drinks, Katherine designed the beautiful reusable glass bottles, brand logos and selected the botanicals for Cygnet 22.
For Katherine, this has been a wonderfully creative and educational process and being known for her ‘all or nothing attitude’, she is truly the driving force behind the brand and has been central to every element of the business since its birth in early 2022.
As a female founder, Katherine is passionate about speaking woman to woman. Tired of male-driven spirit products, she wanted to break the mould and create a ‘Best in Glass’ gin for the sisterhood of gin lovers (and those that love them). The bottle design, the message of the brand that women deserve only the best and the taste of Cygnet appeal strongly to a female audience; one that makes up the majority of gin consumers.
As a long-standing Ambassador for the GREAT Britain campaign, Katherine has been a passionate and committed champion of Wales for more than 20 years and is delighted to have brought new employment opportunities to the region, as well as promoting her world-class spirit brand globally.
Katherine Jenkins says: “Cygnet combines the finest local botanicals with pure Welsh water and being surrounded by the nature and beauty of the valleys, a whole lot of ‘Hwyl!’ (an ecstatic feeling of inspiration unique to Wales). I’ve also included my ‘secret ingredient’ in Cygnet 22, Manuka Honey, which I use to take care of my voice. All of this results in an ultra-premium gin that is so smooth you can sip it on its own.”
Cygnet Welsh Dry Gin has an ABV of 40% and is made using pure Welsh water and 12 botanicals from around the world. The botanicals are an eclectic mix of flavours which include Almonds, Angelica Root, Chamomile Flower, Cardamom Seeds, Coriander Seeds, Juniper Berries, Lemon Peel, Liquorice Root, Lime Peel, Sweet Orange Peel, Orris Root and Pink Grapefruit Peel. Cygnet Welsh Dry Gin is a vibrant gin with an uplifting juniper aroma. Notes of sweet orange and soft coriander spice lead to a fresh citrus finish.
Cygnet 22 has an ABV of 44% and is distilled with 22 botanicals, including all of the botanicals in Cygnet Welsh Dry Gin, with the addition of Manuka Honey, chosen by Katherine for its healing properties as well as what it represents. Produced by bees foraging in the native Manuka bushes which grow wild in the New Zealand countryside, Katherine has advocated using this special honey for its throat-soothing properties for many years. The complex flavours and aromas from the Manuka Honey are imparted into the final vapour-infused distillate, without any of the sweetness, leaving a smooth, silky taste. The additional botanicals in Cygnet 22 include Calendula, Cassia Bark, White Peppercorns, Bee Pollen, Lemon Balm, Sea Salt, Rose Petals, Hibiscus and Heather. A warm heart of herbal juniper and spice is soothed by gentle notes of vanilla and bee pollen.
Cygnet 22 is a true disruptor and one of the first products in the category designed to be sipped as well as mixed.
Cygnet is distilled by sixth generation distillers and brewers, Aster and Chris Sadler. The Master Distillers have been integral in the creation of the unique Cygnet Welsh Dry Gin liquid along with their disrupting and revolutionary development of Cygnet 22 with Katherine.
Katherine adds, “It was important for us to make something beautiful but sustainable and all products across the Cygnet range will come with a promise to walk the walk.”
At approximately 400g, the lightweight Cygnet 22 bottle weighs up to 50% less than the average spirits bottle meaning it requires less raw materials to produce and less energy to transport. In addition to being recyclable and refillable, the Cygnet 22 bottle-for-life is also designed with re-use at its heart, encouraging consumers to upcycle it as a water carafe or striking single stem vase. The dragon, the symbol of Wales, is incorporated on both bottles and Cygnet Welsh Dry Gin is also decorated with white daffodils, the national flower of Wales.
Cygnet Welsh Dry Gin is available to pre-order from the Cygnet website www.cygnet-distillery.com at an RRP of £35.00.
Cygnet 22 is available to pre-order from the Cygnet website www.cygnet-distillery.com at an RRP of £47.50.
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Notes to Editors
About Katherine Jenkins:
Welsh Superstar Mezzo Soprano Katherine Jenkins OBE officially became Britain's most successful Classical singer after she was crowned ‘The Biggest Selling Classical Artist of the Century’ by Classic FM. She further cemented her title by gaining her 14th Number 1 Album - smashing the record books since signing to Universal Classics at the tender age of 22. Then a school teacher, Katherine burst onto the music scene in 2003 when she performed at Westminster Cathedral in honour of Pope John Paul II's Silver Jubilee, became the talisman for her much beloved Welsh rugby team, singing the anthem before important international matches & had her debut performance at the Sydney Opera House.
Awards and accolades followed as well as invitations to sing for Popes, Presidents and Princes. Jenkins is a firm favourite of the British royal family having been invited to sing 'God save the Queen' at Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee, perform at The Queen’s Coronation concerts at Buckingham Palace and at Her Majesty's 90th Birthday celebrations at Windsor Castle.
Jenkins has earned her ‘National Treasure’ status not only through her dedication to her music but because of her massive charitable efforts. She is global patron of The Wilderness Foundation (conservation) as well as being an Ambassador for Prince William’s TUSK Trust. She is an Ambassador for cancer charity Macmillan, a trustee of The British Forces Foundation (she has travelled to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Cyprus & Northern Ireland to entertain the troops and was presented with an OBE by HRH Prince of Wales in 2013 as a result).
Katherine sits on the arts advisory board of the Nehru Centre which encourages artistic development between India and the UK and is an ambassador for Number 10’s GREAT campaign. Jenkins spent 2020 creating free ‘at home’ performances to boost morale and bring people together virtually during the pandemic. She performed 25 ‘lockdown live’ concerts every Saturday night to millions of people, performed a VE Day BBC concert from a deserted Buckingham Palace as well as a highly publicised ‘Behind Closed Doors’ concert at the Royal Albert Hall – a first in the iconic venue’s 150 year history.
Born in South Wales, Katherine learned to sing as a chorister of St. David's Church choir, Neath. Her love of music was well nurtured in the Welsh Valleys, where she had the opportunity to join choral groups, perform with Welsh Male Voice Choirs as well as participate in Eisteddfods and other musical events. She has always accredited her down to earth nature to her Welsh roots and her amazing family. Sadly, Katherine’s father Selwyn passed away when she was just 15 and since then his memory has been the driving force in her life. Every album, every award is dedicated to him.
Within months of graduating from the Royal Academy of Music, Katherine signed the 'biggest recording deal in UK classical music history' and released her debut album 'Premiere', which became her first classical number one album. Six months later, her second album, ’Second Nature’ also reached number 1 and went on to earn Katherine her first Classic BRIT Award for best album in 2005. The following year brought Katherine her second Classic BRIT award ‘Album of the Year’ for ‘Living A Dream’.
Sold out tours followed, as did performances and recordings with Andrea Bocelli, Jose Carreras, David Foster, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Bryn Terfel, Rolando Villazon, Juan Diego Florez, Il Divo, Kylie Minogue & Michael Bolton. Not afraid of stepping outside of her comfort zone, Katherine has appeared as a mentor in ITV's 'Popstar to Operastar', played the role of Abigail in the BBC's iconic Dr Who Christmas special, tap danced her way through 'Viva la Diva' with Prima ballerina Darcey Bussell as well as, most notably, winning 2nd place in
the U.S. hit TV show 'Dancing with the Stars' in 2012. After years as a guest performer, Katherine was delighted to officially join the BBC’s ‘Songs of Praise’ family as a regular presenter of the weekly religious programme.
2017 saw Jenkins’s debut on the West End stage playing Julie Jordan in Carousel with English National Opera at the London Coliseum, her performance earning her rave reviews from both the British and International press. Her next acting role and her film debut came in ‘Minamata’ alongside Johnny Depp and Bill Nighy, a movie that was released in 2021 for which Katherine also lends her voice to Ryuichi Sakamoto’s score. She also appeared in ‘Dream Horse’ – a true Welsh story where Katherine plays herself.
2022 was an emotional year for Katherine having been invited to sing ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at her mentor and friend, Dame Vera Lynn’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey. She also played a key role performing to The Queen in her Platinum Jubilee concert from Windsor Castle and at Her Majesty’s country home Sandringham, Norfolk. In September, upon the very sad passing of The Queen, Katherine was selected by the BBC to be the first artist to record ‘God Save The King’ for His Majesty, King Charles III and was shortly thereafter awarded the Duke of Edinburgh ‘Gold Heart’ Royal Variety Club Award, approved by the late Queen eight days before she passed away.