Q&A: “Bridesmaids” Director Paul Feig on Making His New Gin

Sobe food and wine dinner at The Patio at the Continuum
April 19, 2021
2021 Mother’s Day Restaurant Guide
May 4, 2021

Q&A: “Bridesmaids” Director Paul Feig on Making His New Gin

Film Director and Creator of Artingstall's London Brilliant Dry Gin

"This was my life's quest."

One would assume that Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids, A Simple Favor, and various episodes of The Office, Mad Men, Freaks and Geeks, and Arrested Development would be more enthused about other things besides gin and trivia.

However, that simply is not the case. Paul Feig is on a mission, or rather, a "crusade...to bring back Gin's illustrious reputation." His love for cocktails was exemplified over the months spent locked down in quarantine. The producer/director created over 120 cocktail videos on Instagram, keeping fans entertained with his jovial personality and refreshing spirit. Feig's passion for cocktails was actualized into his very own Gin, Artingstall in February of 2020. Due to the ongoing pandemic, none of the plans to promote his “brilliant London dry gin” (exact phrasing on the bottle) last year got off the ground. Fortunately, Feig was unabashed about plugging Artingstall's throughout his Nightly Quarantine Cocktail Series.

Currently in Belfast, Ireland; Feig is back in the director’s chair for the upcoming Netflix film The School for Good and Evil, he’s still found time in his busy schedule to start promoting his gin again. Just in time for its release in Florida. We caught Feig on an afternoon between takes to discuss the development of Artingstall's and how he plans to convert as many people as he can into gin lovers. One idea, Trivia! As a self-proclaimed fan of party games, Feig felt this would be the ideal format to marry his fans' extensive knowledge of his work with the local launch of his bespoke spirit.

To celebrate the debut of Artingstall's in Florida, Paul will be hosting his trivia night on May 1st, where you can play a virtual trivia game with the director. The prize, a trip to the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.

Digest Miami: You claim you are a life-long gin lover, when creating Artingstall's, did you know what flavor you were after, or did it find you through the process?

Paul Feig: "I’d been searching forever for the right gin. I had a flavor profile I wanted, and I knew what I didn’t want. We went through eight different variations and several rounds of testing to get it to exactly what I wanted it to taste like. Honestly, I’ve never been drunker than the day I had to finalize the gin. But I ended up with something that works in almost any situation, be it a dirty martini or a Negroni."

For Artingstall’s London Dry Gin—an aromatic and smooth gin— Feig teamed up with Minhas Craft Brewery and distillery, a family-owned company in Monroe, Wisconsin. “This company, they are amazing,” Feig recanted. "It's a brother and sister. Ravinder and Manjit knew how to translate the flavor profiles that I had in my head into a tangible product I can taste."

Digest Miami: Was "Brilliant" added to the official name before or after Queen Elizabeth II dubbed it her favorite Gin?

"Way before," said Feig as he giggled, reminiscing about the unbelievably impressive promotion. "I always sought brighter flavored gin. I think it perfectly describes the gin. I wanted a London dry, but with a bright taste. It’s fantastic in a martini with a twist of lemon. It works with olives, but I prefer a twist."

Digest Miami: The bottle itself is a statement piece. How did the design come to fruition?

When it came to designing the bottle, the team looked for inspiration from something with classic and vintage styling that would look good on a bar cart. “Ravinder and I landed on the idea of something that looks like a crystal decanter. I found an old cut-glass decanter in a thrift shop that I loved. I sent it to Ravinder,” Feig says. “From that, we fine-tuned our own design for the engraving and shape.” Altogether, Feig wanted Artingstall’s to look like a gin that’s been around for 150 years. So the black, textured label with a gold foil border reveals the brand name in bold, all-caps gold letters. “It’s why I picked my mother’s maiden name: Artingstall. Because it’s an old English name that rolls off the tongue—at least, it rolls off of the tongue better than Feig!” he laughs.

Feig hopes his love of martinis and cocktail culture is evoked in every drop of Artingstall’s, which will launch soon in Florida. More US distribution is coming soon.

Be sure to join Feig and others to test your knowledge on some of his greatest hits for a chance to win two tickets to the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, which is returning to South Beach May 20th-23rd. The Trivia night, inspired by the man himself takes place May 1st at 6:00 p.m. ET. So if you're a Feig freak, movie geek, or cocktail connoisseur, grab a bottle of Artingstall’s and click below for your personal invite to the Zoom event on May 1!

Trivia Night: May 1st, begins at 6:00 p.m. ET.
RSVP: Here!
Where to Purchase Artingstall's Near You: Artingstall's Gin