Pickering’s Gin – who have been producing the gin-filled baubles on a small scale since 2014 – quickly sold out ahead of Christmas 2016, after they caught the attention of American press and celebrities, including Martha Stewart.
This year, they have upped production dramatically to cope with demand.
After the Pickering’s baubles went viral, the final batch of their 30,000 gin baubles sold out in just 82 seconds.
As a result, planning for this year’s bauble production began way back in December 2016 to make sure the small team could keep up with demand.
“We’ve had to scale up production, staff, and our custom-built machinery massively,” explains Leah Shaw Hawkins, Pickering’s brand manager.
The team (which is based at Summerhall in central Edinburgh) has increased from nine to 15 full-time members of staff, and an additional 19 part-time ‘elves’ have also been hired to help fill the decorative baubles with gin.
“Working around the clock, the team have been filling the 20,000 baubles needed a day to meet demand since early spring,” reveals Shaw Hawkins.
“All in all, we have produced a million baubles for this Christmas that will be sent all over the world.”
Sold in packs of six, the colourful baubles each contain a 50ml serving of Pickering’s signature gin.
The baubles (available from the Pickering’s Gin website as well as over 200 outlets across the UK) go on sale on Wednesday 4 October – but they’re not expected to hang around for long.
Members of the craft distiller’s #GinFriends mailing list were given the chance to pre-order their baubles back in July, and 10 per cent of this year’s stock has already been sold this way.
After missing out on the novelty gift last year, some die-hard gin fans have taken rather drastic measures to ensure they get their hands on a set this Christmas.
“Our baubles got a lot of coverage in the USA last year – looking at you, Martha Stewart – and most couldn’t get their hands on a pack,” says Shaw Hawkins.
“As a result, we have actually had a couple from Texas change their European travel plans to fit in a visit to the distillery, just to get a pack of gin baubles, which tickled Mr Pickering greatly.”
Craft gin remains hugely popular worldwide at the moment, and Pickering’s believe their gin baubles add an extra element of fun to the drink.
“The idea for the baubles started in 2014 as a bit of fun for our local Christmas fair – now they’re the must-have Christmas decoration,” says Marcus Pickering, co-founder of the distillery.
“Others may follow, but we were most definitely the first to add that gin sparkle to trees around the country.”
“Innovation brings with it imitation, so we have noticed a few companies coming out with their own versions – usually a miniature with a ribbon attached,” says Shaw Hawkins.
But to make sure this one-off product can’t be copied, the bauble casing is patented, so gin fans know they are getting something truly unique.
“It feels quite mischievous hiding your gin amongst your other decorations – it adds that element of surprise, which we think people really enjoy,” adds Shaw Hawkins.
Pickering’s gin baubles are available to buy online now, while stocks last.
Or if you're in Edinburgh why not pick up a box or two from local stores such as The Trumpet Shop?