The Classicist: The Stylish World of Spirits & Luxury Hotel Guru Martin Miller
As befits a Brit who has his very own brand of gin, Martin Miller is more than just an entrepreneur; he's a bon viveur and connoisseur of everything from antiques and historic houses to leggy women, fine spirits and elaborately coiffed canines. The self-described "gypsy who never settled" began building an empire as a schoolboy in England which led to an estimated $40 million fortune and the birth of Martin Miller's Gin. Having sold his antiques guide business for a tidy sum, in 1999 Miller hit on the idea of creating a super premium gin better than anything else available at the time; developing the perfect gin regardless of "practical, fiscal or even geographic limitations" became something of a fixation, hence the spirit's slogan: "born of love, obsession and some degree of madness."
Miller's is a top drawer London dry gin made from ten carefully balanced botanicals that's transported 1,500 miles to Iceland following traditional copper pot still distillation to be mixed with the purest spring water on the globe. The result is a potent spirit with a strong citrus nose and taste, notes of juniper and a clean, soft finish. A Westbourne Strength variation ups the ABV from 40% to 45.2%, bringing the juniper to the forefront along with spicier notes and the same soft finish. Both bottles are stunning. That degree of good taste and craftsmanship extends to Miller's small empire of boutique luxury hotels in renovated historic structures, the first of which he opened to house his burgeoning collection of antiques.
Miller's four UK properties echo the eccentricity and artistic sensibility of their creator; showcasing his "maximalistic" approach to decor, they're positively overflowing with antiques and finds from his lifelong adventures. Here's a rundown [cont'd]:
Gallery: The World of Martin Miller
• Miller's at the Anchor (Somerset ) is an historic inn located near the coastal village of Porlock. Designed in the style of a hunting lodge, it's chock full of stuffed animals, deer antlers, prints and paintings all backlit by romantic candlelight.
• Miller's Residence (London), currently being refurbished, is an opulent 18th-century style secret hideaway situated in central London overflowing with extraordinary antiques; the only thing designating entrance is its fire truck red door.
• Miller's Academy of Arts and Science (London) is a lecture hall for arts, culture science politics and current affairs. The membership only club hosts lectures twice a week along with events often frequented by celebs. Two conference rooms are decorated with robin's egg blue walls, baroque gold picture frames, marble busts, and dark wooden benches strewn with Turkish cushions.