Finding Creative Flow with ‘Saint & Sinners’ founder, Sarah Barry

Saints & Sinners Gin

Saints & Sinners Gin is a bespoke, premium gin that will be taking the market by storm in the coming years. Founded in 2020 by Sarah Barry, the premium gin has rapidly become known for its distinct taste, which is complemented by its unforgettable cheeky branding.

Sarah and I have been friends and housemates for quite some time, having originally met in French class during university. Naturally, I wanted to include Sarah in the Creative Flow series, having seen her spend so many evenings distilling and filling our house with the delicious aroma of her gin. Saints & Sinners entices its consumers to ‘get their Halo’s dirty’, with its exotic and wholesome botanical flavours, which in turn will leave any gin lover wanting more!

Inspired by the prohibition of the 1920s in the US, Sarah wanted to create a gin brand that would be renowned for its taste and cheekiness. Saints & Sinners Gin was established in 2020 during one of the many lockdowns that we went through. Needless to say, it’s humbling to see so much creativity emerge from such a bleak and challenging time in all of our lives. 

Sarah spoke to me about where her love for gin came from, as she had “the best part-time job as a tour guide in the Jameson Distillery in Cork”. While it’s been many years since her time working at the distillery, it had a lasting impression on Sarah and without a doubt has led her down the path that she is currently on. 

Sarah oozes fun, passion and class as an individual and those very traits are what she has undoubtedly captured with Saints and Sinners. We touched on the name and how Sarah wanted her brand to capture the complexity of the taste of her gin. Sarah noted how “the sweet flavours in her gin are what represent the ‘Saint’ and innocent like taste – these tastes are indulged by ingredients like elderflower, caramel and lavender. Whereas the ‘Sinner’ taste is more robust, spicy and bunchy, and is captured by blood orange, cloves and cinnamon.” 

It would be futile to deny that unlike other industries, setting up your own gin business involves many legal twists and turns. 2022 is a year that Sarah envisions to be all about building her brand awareness – ensuring everyone is familiar with Saints & Sinners gin online. Sarah also hopes to nail a second more summery edition of Saints & Sinners, something I’m sure will leave our palettes wanting more!

I loved how Sarah described her sense of Creative Flow when she makes her gin, describing how distilling is truly where she finds that sense of flow. Sarah touched on how she feels “empowered” and “energised” by the entire process of creating each and every batch of her gin. Sarah describes how she begins the process by smelling each of the different scents of her ingredients as they are being infused – she compares those scents then then with the finished product after the gin’s been distilled as it’s usually quite different, and that’s what puts such a smile on her face. 

From conception to reality, setting up a gin business is by no means easy. As Sarah already touched on, her goal this year is to make everything “legal” ensuring that she can begin to sell her gin in years to come. She told me that creating her business has been “a lonely road”, as there isn’t that many people you can simply pick up the phone to and ask questions. Sarah has learned everything about distilling from Google – which is simply incredible considering the gin’s plush, professional and rich taste!

For anyone who envisions drinking a glass of Saints & Sinners, Sarah gave me some top tips on the best way to enjoy a cheeky glass of her gin:

  1. Make sure your glass is cold by popping in plenty ice;
  2. Cut up some grapefruit and lime, which will really draw out the ‘Sinner’ taste and add them to your glass;
  3. Pour your required amount of Saints and Sinners gin and top it off with your favourite mixer of choice;
  4. If you’re feeling extra bold, Sarah highly recommends throwing in some juniper berries; and,
  5. Lastly, sit back and enjoy every sip!

I am so looking forward to seeing Saints & Sinners Gin on shelves in years to come and more importantly, see one of my best friends continue to stride to greatness. If you’d like to follow Sarah on her journey, check her out in Instagram. Feeling inspired by Sarah, why not have a read of some of the other Creative Flow interviews here.

Till the next conversation.

Much love,

Sarah Edel xx