Founded by Charles Tanqueray in 1830, Tanqueray has established itself as a leading gin in the worldwide marketplace while overcoming family segregation, prohibition, global war and a increasingly competitive market.
Refusing to follow in his family's tradition of joining the clergy, Charles Tanqueray set his sights on producing a gin of the highest quality, and at the young age of 20 in 1830, he purchased a small distillery in London. An immediate success, Tanqueray London Dry Gin soon became the benchmark that all other gins would have to live up to.
Seeking to gain additional market share, the distillery began to export Tanqueray to British Colonies, and soon the brand became known across the globe.
Two vital developments occured in 1862 and 1870. In 1862, the Martini was created for the first time, creating what would become one of the best known cocktails the world has ever seen, along with driving gin's popularity even further. This success was followed up in 1870 with the creating of the Gin & Tonic, originally created to avoid malaria in tropical regions, the Gin & Tonic was soon enjoyed as a refreshing summer cocktail.
Unfortunately, Charles Tanqueray would not see the success of the Gin & Tonic, as he died in 1868. The business was handed over to his son, Charles Waugh Tanqueray.
Tanqueray continued to expand its distribution network, reaching the United States by the early 1900s, however this growth was stifled in 1920 with the announcement of prohibition in the US.
Fortunately, prohibition was repealed in 1933, and Tanqueray was prepared to once again master the US marketplace, and became the dominant brand of gin in the US.
Disaster struck again in 1941, with German air raids destroying much of the distillery, with only one of the still, "Old Tom" surviving the attack.
The 1950s proved to be an exciting time on the international spirit scene, with the expansion of popularity in cocktails increasing sales of many spirits, especially gin. Tanqueray became the gin of choice for many cocktail drinkers, none more noteable than Frank Sinatra.
Riding the wave of success caused by the cocktail boom, Tanqueray continued to leverage its brand and image, with the release in 1989 of Tanqueray Sterling Vodka.
In 1994 Tanqueray undertook what at the time was its largest marketing campaign, with the introduction of the international spokesman for the brand, Mr Jenkins. While not a complete success, Mr Jenkins maintained the publics perception of Tanqueray as a sophisticated drink choice. The campaign was phased out in 1998.
Tanqueray expanded its product line once again in 2000 with the introduction of Tanqueray No. 10 and Tanqueray Malacca. Tanqueray No. 10 was positioned as an ultra premium gin (a category largely created by Bombay Sapphire), with its selection of botanicals and whole-fruits such as grapefruit, lemons and limes being introduced to the spirit fresh and whole. No. 10 is also distinctive as its initial distillation is conducted in "Old Tom", the sole remaining still from the 1800s. Tanqueray No. 10 was an immediate success on the market, which had shifted to desiring premium products.
Tanqueray Malacca did not have the same fate as No. 10. Introduced as a wetter and spicier version of the original Tanqueray, Malacca suffered from a poor marketing campaign and limited presence in bars. It was discontinued in 2003.
In 2005, Tanqueray introduced another brand ambassador, this time called Tony Sinclair. Aimed to reinforce Tanqueray's sophisticated nature, the character also has the goal of giving the brand a more urban culture, in an attempt to gain market share.
Tanqueray Rangpur was introduced in 2006, as a product of Tanqueray Gin combined with rangpur limes, ginger and bay leaves. Unlike Malacca, Rangpur has expanded well on the market, and continues to have a strong following.
Now owned and distributed by international beverage gorup Diageo, Tanqueray can be found in any corner of the globe, and continues to be a leading gin brand internationally.
- Tanqueray No. 10
- Tanqueray Malacca - Discontinued
- Tanqueray Rangpur
- Tanqueray Sterling Vodka