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The Story of Cornelis Drebbel

the story behind

Good stories start with a Hero

One of the greatest inventors of his time, an engineer and explorer of the seas. Our inspiration, the man who invented the first submarine. Here’s to you, Cornelis Drebbel.

Born in Alkmaar in 1572, Cornelis Jacobszoon Drebbel was a Dutch renaissance engineer, inventor, painter, alchemist and explorer. Around 1604, Cornelis Drebbel and his family moved to England at the invitation of King James 1st. Spending time working on his inventions, he is the inventor of the perpetuum mobile and the first optical instruments.

His fame circulating through the courts of Europe, he was also invited to Prague in 1610 and was occupied with the arts, alchemy and occult sciences. Ten years later and after moving back to London, he built in 1620 the first navigable submarine while working for the English Royal Navy. This model was demonstrated to King James I in person and several thousand Londoners.

The submarine stayed submerged for three hours and could travel from Westminster to Greenwich and back, cruising at a depth between 12 and 15 feet. Drebbel even took James in this submarine on a test dive beneath the Thames, making James I the first monarch to travel underwater. Drebbel went on to build two more submarines, each one bigger than the last.

Named the “Edison of his era” by many, Drebbel was an empirical researcher and innovator. After James died and Charles I became King, Drebbel was employed by the Office of Ordnance, making secret weapons for the King. He died in London on 7 November 1633.

honouring the legacy

Seeking to honour a legacy that lasts for a Century

During his whole life Drebbel has had close contacts with painters and graphical artists. It all started around 1590 with his training time in Hendrick Goltzius studio. Together with Hendrick Goltzius, the painter and writer Karel van Mander, they started an informal drawing school. It has become known in art history circles as the Haarlem Academy or “Haarlem Mannerists”.

On 31 March, 1603  Cornelis Drebbel and his brother in law Hendrick Goltzius decided to buy a house in Haarlem. Legend says they had a basement where they attempted to distill alcohol. It was probably made from juniper (or “genever” as said in Dutch).

The Original Drebbel London Dry Gin recipe is thus handcrafted according to centuries of Dutch distilling traditions. It is smooth with fresh citrus peels adding a lovely freshness while juniper and coriander seeds give it its distinctive gin flavour. Our Master Distiller use as many as eight botanicals sourced from all over the world for extra depth and complexity.

authenticity and traditions

Dedication to Quality and Pureness. Just as we like.

Drebbel Small Batch London Dry Gin was originally created to be simply be true and authentic. This regardless to how much it would cost or take to produce it. With this in mind, our Master Distiller set about sourcing only the very finest of natural ingredients in it.

Proud of our Dutch traditions, we thought it would only fitting to call it Drebbel Gin. To us, it is the biggest recognition to Cornelis Drebbel’s great inventions. We wanted to have a product that is pure and authentic — just as Cornelis Drebbel was.

deep wells

Sourcing its water from a natural reservoir considered as the purest in Holland

Drebbel Gin sources its water from a virtually untouched natural local reservoir located at 100 meter deep wells and are considered the purist water in Holland. These deep wells located in the largest natural park, known for its sandy ground have great filtering characteristics removing even the smallest impurities.
botanicals and tasting notes

A matter of heart, body and soul. Enjoyed worldwide.

On the nose what struck me was the absolute freshness of this gin. Sure, there’s juniper, but the lemon peel is very evident, with a bit of sweet vanilla, and a dash of spicy ginger. It’s a very light and refreshing combination.

The same goes for the taste. Drebbel Gin is one you can sip neat. The lemon freshness and vanilla sweetness is there, offsetting the tartness of the juniper, while the ginger, coriander and liquorice add other flavours to the delightful mix.

The finish is also very smooth and fresh. All in all this is a really enjoyable gin.

Mike gerrard, travel distilled
Juniper Berries (Italy)
Juniper gives Drebbel Gin
a fresh and piney signature.
Angelica Root (France)
The earthy taste of the angelica root is used to keep all taste notes in balance.
Orris Root (Italy)
After growing in Italy Orris can be harvested and dried before ground to a powder.
Coriander Seeds (Morocco)
Coriander is carefully selected after having grown. They give all citrus tones.
Lemon Peel (Spain)
Our hand-picked lemons from Murcia provides Drebbel Gin with sweet citrus flavours.
Ginger (India)
Ginger gives Drebbel Gin an exotic flavour with a nice bite that ends in a long taste.
Vanilla sticks (Madagascar)
Vanilla gives a nice creamy note, balanced by Angelica and enhanced by the citrus tastes.
Liquorice (China)
Liquorice from China gives the Drebbel extra sweet notes combined with Anise aroma.

Quality never goes out of style.
Try it now.

Hand crafted by our Master Distiller into the purest small batch, according to centuries of Dutch distilling traditions.

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