For over 20 years, Hugh Lambert travelled the world as a TV cameraman, director of photography and editor. Often he’d find himself in some of the remotest parts of the world, perhaps living with a local tribe. On each trip he’d try different foods. Some of them were quite out there, in terms of taste combinations and ingredients. (I’ll let Hugh reveal what the roasted figs he ate one day in the jungle really were.)
With that broad-minded approach, it isn’t surprising that Hugh has created a drink with unusual ingredients: Shanty Spirit, a seaweed botanical vodka.
This isn’t a gimmick. As you’ll hear, Hugh falls into my beloved category of brilliant – and possibly slightly bonkers – obsessive. Someone who describes his spirit as ‘4 years of research driven by a lifetime’s passion for being by the sea’. They really were years of intense focus: macerating countless seaweeds, then working through a long list of botanicals until he got to a point where he could collaborate with a distillery and see his idea bottled up.
As you know, if you’ve listened to Vince Noyce at Portsmouth Distillery and Alex Kammerling at Kamm & Sons, I love these stories of dedication – particularly when they bring something new and authentically different to the market.