Bristol-based Circumstance Distillery has launched the world’s first gin created using an artificial intelligence (AI) programme. A complex gin developed by a neural network.

It’s a collaboration with creative technologists Tiny Giant who has designed and built the AI. She is called ‘Ginette’ a neural network who’s the ‘brains’ behind ‘Monker’s Garkel’.

South West strategists Rewrite Digital have also played a valuable role in bringing this project to life.

Trained by the team to analyse thousands of botanicals, understand gin recipes and learn a database of more than 800 gin names. Ginette went through a process of creating a huge catalogue of brand names, designs and botanical recipes before deciding on ‘Monker’s Garkel’ a fragranced gin, according to Ginette.

Monker’s Garkel is created using Juniper berry, coriander seed, angelica root, raspberry leaf, gooseberry, prune, clementine zest, orange zest, and marigold with an abv of 40%.

The first batch will be a limited edition of 1000 bottles available from Masters of Malt, who also provided some of the data to train ‘Ginette’ with an RRP of £42 per 50cl bottle. It is also available through Circumstance Distillery’s online store

An automated algorithm created the labels using a curated set of styles, colours, textures and fonts which was then formulated by local Bristol artist, Tim Sutcliffe. Potentially, it can design an infinite selection.

The copy on the label and Ginette’s communication on social, @GGinmaker is written by a neural network based on the Open AI GPT-2 language model. A human then organises the output, which can automate a process if needs be.

Liam Hirt, co-founder of Circumstance Distillery commented “AI and machine learning are exciting new tools. We do a lot of contract distilling and wanted to know if these tools could make a meaningful contribution to new product development. At present they are not a substitute for the skill of the distiller, but we have clearly shown that they can make a valuable contribution to all aspects of the development process, from the recipe to the naming and labelling. We trained Ginette well, and with a little human help and guidance,  her product is interesting, attractive and, most importantly, delicious.”

“We’ve loved every minute of this project,” said Kerry Harrison, co-founder of Tiny Giant. “The creation of Monker’s Garkel has demonstrated that it’s perfectly possible to align machine predictive power and human creativity to make something delicious, valuable and commercial”.

Monker’s Garkel was launched during The Bristol Technology Festival on the 5th November at the I’ll Be Back South West event at the Square Club in Bristol.


Geraint Evans