Desmond Payne installed as the Gin Guild's Grand Rectifier

The Gin Guild has installed Desmond Payne MBE as its new Grand Rectifier at a memorable member installation event which saw the Guild welcome distillers from India, Australia, and for the first time, Chile.

The Gin Guild’s 21st London member installation saw 40 members swear the oath of the gin industry’s global body – taking the Guild’s total number of members installed to 492.

The event also included new international memberships from across three continents – including The Gin Guild’s first corporate members in Australia and Chile, Four Pillars and Gin Provincia.

Four Pillars were fresh from winning International Gin Producer of the year 2023, sponsored by the Gin Guild, for a record third time at the 2023 IWSC (International Wine & Spirit Competition) awards. The Victoria-based producer’s Co-Founder Cameron Mackenzie, spoke about attending the event for the first time, saying:


“The Gin Guild Autumn Installation at Mansion House exceeded all expectations. It’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the presence of so many gin legends from Desmond Payne and Lesley Gracie to Anne Brock and Jared Brown. I cannot wait to attend again.

“From start to finish the evening was incredible and my installation will remain a highlight of my 10 years distilling this wonderful spirit. The Gin Guild is a must for anyone who makes, mixes or represents the world’s most important aromatic spirit (in my humble opinion!).”

The annual event, held at the prestigious Mansion House on October 20, 2023 and graced by the presence of the Rt Hon, the Lord Mayor, Nicholas Lyons, also saw Head Spirits Buyer from Waitrose John Vine, along with celebrated Mixologists such as Salvatore ‘The Maestro’ Calabrese, Rich Woods a.k.a. The Cocktail Guy, Hiroshi Komoriya and Erik Lorincz join the ranks, further enhancing the diverse and dynamic nature of The Gin Guild’s membership.

Simon Ford, Founder of Fords Gin, was thrilled to welcome such prestigious names to the Guild. He says, “This year the Gin Guild installed two of the bartending world’s biggest legends, Salvatore Calabrese and Erik Lorincz, whose influence has been recognised globally and whose contribution to the promotion of gin can’t be underestimated.

“The bartender has played an integral role in promoting the gin category over the last two centuries and continues to do so today. There are arguably more classic cocktails made with Gin than any other spirits category driving presence for the category internationally and each decade more gin drinks are added to the ever-growing list”

Desmond Payne MBE, Beefeater Gin Master Distiller Emeritus, who has received not one but two lifetime achievement awards for his work in the industry, was appointed as Grand Rectifier following Lesley Gracie, Master Distiller of Hendricks Gin’s two-year term in office.

Mr Payne said: “It is an honour to be installed as the new Grand Rectifier of the Gin Guild but it is also a pleasure and a delight to take up this position after a lifetime spent in the production and promotion of this fine spirit.”

Pal Gleed, Director General of The Gin Guild added: “Being an active part of The Gin Guild means joining a fantastic network of gin experts and industry colleagues. This expansion solidifies The Guild’s position at the heart of the global gin industry, dedicated to fostering excellence and camaraderie.

“The welcoming of these new members, including our first corporate members from Australia and Chile, has demonstrated our dedication to promoting international collaboration and recognising the global appeal of our timeless spirit.

“I’d like to thank the Desmond for accepting the role of Grand Rectifier, and would like to pay tribute to our wonderful outgoing Grand Rectifier Lesley Gracie for her fantastic support during her time in office”