Batch No III – Bob’s Batch
This was the first time naming our gin became a tradition, and for good reason too. It was produced in honour of the man who would go on to become known as Mr Pink Pepper, Boblem Lopes (aka Ian Spink). After having met Miko, and becoming close friends, Bob became a driving force of encouragement and energy in the quest to spread the Pink Pepper Love and grow the business. Initially, Bob took Pink Pepper to the UK with the aim of landing a distribution deal; little did he know at this time that he would go on to embody the spirit of our brand.
Boblem is generosity and kindness in its human incarnation – opening his heart and home without question. For Miko, he is a rock of support, holding him up through the full myriad of life’s challenges, from existential crises of identity and purpose, through to stabilising the funnel when pouring distillates. Miko would be a semi-functioning humanoid at best without Boblem.
Batch No IV – The Flea’s Share
The Flea (or Puce, in French) is Miko’s little big sister, Julia Abouaf. She is known as Puce as, despite her petite stature, has the tremendous energy and daring of a warrior combined with the elegance of a Hollywood movie star. A pocket rocket in its greatest manifestation. Her stubborn goat mind-set means she achieves everything she sets out to achieve, all in her own time and her own beautiful way. She is the warmth and love of family – and carries home in her handbag which never leaves her side.
As an avid Audemus supporter, her shelves are filled with our creations, and due to her increasingly modern nomad lifestyle she leaves valuable depositories of these spirits in her trail. Visit more, Puce!
Batch No V – Le Batch de Pazu
Michel Abouaf, AKA Pazu, is Miko’s dad – the man who opened the eyes of the future distiller to the love of all good things. From fine Cognac to spicy harissa or olive oil to intrepid wines – a love of food, taste and ritual were passed down with the utmost importance. Giving nothing but love, and sharing his passions as a natural way of life and living, le bon vivant influenced Miko more than he can imagine.
As a retired dentist in Australia, he can be found jumping around the country (usually in the best wine and foodie regions), doing replacements in surgeries for a few weeks at a time. He now has a roady lifestyle and is accompanied by Maaa (see below), Pumpkin, the family’s 18-year-old Jack Russell and his beloved Nespresso machine.
Batch No VI – Maaa’s Melange
Perhaps the greatest impact Miko’s mum, Nici Abouaf had and has is to instill, encourage and accompany a sense of eccentricity and unrelenting individuality in her son. It was with her that Miko first started experimenting with the spirited arts, as he helped his mum make fruit liqueurs from old family recipes. She pushed him to follow his childhood dream and his passion for spirits through to fruition. If it weren’t for this unquestioning support and love you would not be holding the bottle you have in your hands.
Despite her Polish roots, Nici’s inability to hold her drink is a defining trait – often being found under the table in fits of laughter after a half-dose G&T. For better or for worse (most arguably the latter), this genetic trait was also past down to both of her kids. Thanks Maaa!
Batch No VII – Brew de la Barde
You probably don’t know it, but Audemus Spirits was not always based in the heart of Cognac. For the first 6 months of our rather experimental life – the distillery was cradled in the empty out-houses belonging to Miko’s adopted Charentais family, the Loloums.
Situated in a little ‘hameau’ called La Barde, a few kilometres out of Cognac, Miko lived comfortably in their tiny pigeon house and set out to distill anything he could get his hands on; from the roses under his window to the capers in the fridge. The generosity of this intrepid family made the beginnings of the Audemus adventure possible – and continue to provide free sets of hands, winter raclettes, and all of the love and support needed.
Batch No VIII – Toad’s Tipple
The Toad referred to here is the one and only Jordene Rose Spink – Ian’s little sister. From the time she was a little baby, their Dad nicknamed her Toad – though nobody really remembers why! Now a fully grown woman with a successful career in the RAF, she may have grown out of the nickname but she certainly enjoys a regular Tipple!
Batch No IX – Ali’s Faff
Miko and Ali have known each other for about 28 years – other than their sense of fashion, hairstyles and the fact neither sport nappies anymore – not much has changed. Growing up together it would be impossible to disentangle their stories, though their paths have separated them by several thousand kilometres, they are brothers with all the beauty this brings.
Ali was visiting Cognac when this batch was made – and was there to assist with the botanical blending (yes, he knows the secret ingredients!), it is only too fitting to name this batch after him and one of his most endearing characteristics – his immeasurable ability to faff about!
Batch No x – Dainty Mo’s
In honour of a certain Miss Carolyn Jones, who also happens to be the Lady on the Homepage, sipping a cocktail in her garden! You can read her story in our blog section – a friend of Ian’s for several years, she is also an unofficial member of the Audemus team, providing bed, board and endless support to both Miko and Ian whenever they are in London. She has had many aliases throughout her career as an actress, but became ‘Mo’ from the day she met Ian, who is terrible at remembering names and mistakenly thought she was called Maureen! She is, of course, dainty!
Batch No XI –
Batch No XII – Grey Beard’s Grin
Grey Beard is a discreet maestro of the chemical arts, and accompanied the young future distiller in understanding the technical basis for his work. He pinched at the veil of mystery that surrounded distillation – and although the fruits of early experiments were far from palatable, they were a great foundation of knowledge.
Grey Beard’s genius showed itself from when he was just an ankle-biter, he was known to have pushed experiments to the very edge; from diverting stinking gases throughout the house to almost blowing off his limbs playing with chemical explosives. His curiosity is infectious, though if only his intellect were too!
Batch No XIII – Bertie Mordecai
Named by Ian, and an homage to the one and only Miko, aka Bertie Mordecai, with all the Pink Pepper Love in the world. Dedicating a batch to the creator of everything that flows from the Audemus lab was long overdue! Miko’s story has already been told on these pages, but where does that pseudonym come from? It dates back to their swashbuckling says, when he and Ian (aka Boblem Lopes) would fence through the streets of Cognac and beyond. One cannot swashbuckle without an appropriate pseudonym!
Batch No XIV – Ma Fleur
If one is to be defined by what one does in life, Cambria Minott is the rainbow – with passions stretching from fly fishing to cotton candy – passing through tequila, jazz, painting and even further. She is a self-defined ‘Happy Dabbler’ mixing and dancing freely in what the world has to offer.
The artist’s muse; Ma Fleur is the brightness and smile of optimism and energy – counterbalancing all things dark and heavy in this world. The fortress as well as the fellow fortress holder for when things around crumble. Her support and love for this product and its producer is palpable, and thus, this batch is for her.
Batch No XV – Pipian Time
Nicknames are something of a theme chez Audemus, and this is a special one! The life of a brand rep can be amazing – meeting countless people and visiting some amazing places. And it’s so much more enjoyable when that time can be shared with a fellow rep!
So Ian counts himself lucky to have met the marvellous Pip Johnson, (the ‘Pip’ of ‘Pipian’). At first they shared the Pink Pepper Love with some of London’s finest bars and restaurants, and when Pip moved on to promote other spirit brands she and Ian continued to do ‘the rounds’ together when they could. The phrase ‘Pipian Time’ was born, and a wonderful friendship quickly bloomed.
Often referred to as ‘the better half’ of Pipian, Pip has an unrivalled skill at winning new clients, a sharp sense of humour and style, and without her impeccable sense of direction, Ian would be continually lost on the streets of London.
Long live Pipian Time!
How better to begin our new blog than with a tribute to a lady without whom we wouldn’t have anything to blog about! Dainty Mo, the stunning young lady who appears on the home page of our new improved website.
I’m incredibly lucky to have had Dainty Mo in my life for a very, very long time. And over the past couple of years she’s become an integral part of the Audemus Family, sacrificing the spare room in her humble Victorian home so that both Miko and I could have a London base from which to spread the #pinkpepperlove.
There simply is no better abode, no warmer welcome and no greater friend than Dainty Mo.
But just who is The Lady on the Homepage?
Born in a galaxy far, far away, Mo (aka Carolyn Jones) has led a long and healthy career as an actress. A rare breed who can cite Lawrence Oliver and Paul Raymond amongst her many employers, she will wryly tell you tales of her performances – from London’s West End to provincial playhouses, from the silver screen to your TV sets.
The topic of Dainty Mo’s age is strictly forbidden, but we do know that she trained at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, where the Academy’s principal sent her to meet the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the same time that The Beatles did the same!
She found herself working in many productions at The National Theatre with its founding actors. She has toured the world with dance troupes, revealed all on stage in ‘Oh Calcutta’, and been the nurse to Romeo’s Juliet on stage in the deserts of Jordan.
Carolyn somehow found time to become a household name in the 1970’s, when she played Sharon Metcalfe, the garage boss at an infamous Midland Motel – “Crossroads”. Whilst there she experienced the crazy side of fandom; following a rather provocative episode aired she was chased through the streets of Birmingham by a group of furious, umbrella-weilding ladies who seemed completely unable to split fact from fiction!
Never far from work, she recently been enraging huge swathes of the nation as Ursula in The Archers, a character who’s love for her son may be clouding her outlook somewhat!
But for Miko and I, her greatest role is as Dainty Mo in the little known tale, The Landlady of Brentford.