In 2003, a young Tim Warrillow was considering moving out of advertising and into the business of distilling artisan gin. It was natural, then, that he sought out Charles Rolls, the entrepreneur who had turned Plymouth Gin from an old tipple, well past its sell-by date, into a successful, revitalised brand.
Instead of talking about the newly fizzing gin market, however, the two ended up talking tonic or rather, about how mixers had not caught up with the renewed interest in premium spirits. The result was Warrillow and Rolls co-founding Fever-Tree, creator of premium tonic water and other mixers for the international spirits trade.
Premium tonic water proved an inspired choice. It took some time for Warrillow to create a tonic water that he and Rolls thought worthy, but once the formula was perfected, prestigious retailers, hotels and restaurants adopted it enthusiastically. The business went from strength to strength and seed funding progressed to private equity investors.