Learn about the rise of Tongue In Peat and its tomato revolution.
A Whisky-Infused Beginning.
Our founder, Hannah, spent 12 years working in the whisky industry. Most of her work involved going round the world, showcasing a range of peated and unpeated whiskies to customers. During her travels, she noticed that people either loved or hated the taste of peat smoke but they always had an opinion on it. They all agreed it, whether they liked it or not, it made the taste richer, deeper and more complex.
As is usually the way in the drinks industry, after evenings where spent entertaining customers, the heads were a tad sore in the mornings so Bloody Mary’s were often on order. During these morning rituals, Hannah spotted two things; those who liked peat smoked whiskies loved a Bloody Mary AND the bartenders had to work really hard to deliver a full and flavoursome Bloody Mary to those seeking a “smack in the mouth” level of taste.
No journey is smooth and we are just at the start of our story. We hope you enjoy reading below to hear our rollercoaster ride so far. We’ll keep it updated as the highs and lows of a small business continues...
Smoke, Tomatoes, and Persistence.
It sparked an idea! Hannah wondered if you could replicate the whisky making process where malted barley is cold smoked over a peat fire bed in a kiln but replace the malted barley with in-season, fresh tomatoes. She set about to work, running years of experiments in home-made kilns, testing peat from all different regions of Scotland and smoking for different lengths of time. Finally, in late 2016, the perfect concoction was landed upon; a 12 hour smoke over a bed of peat from the Scottish Island of Islay.
In March 2017, Hannah quit her job to launch Tongue In Peat but after calling over 30 different bottlers, asking them to produce her peat smoked tomato juice, every single person put the phone down. No one wanted a small batch, thick, smokey tomato juice running down the production lines. Rather than give up, Hannah decided to build a factory that would not only produce her “hard to make” craft drink but would also help others in a similar position. That factory was called “The Start-Up Drinks Lab” and opened its doors in 2018. In March 2020, Hannah took a step back from the day-to-day in the factory to go back to the original plan, launching Tongue In Peat. Unfortunately, a little spanner in the works came along called Covid which hit the hospitality industry badly.
Luck began to be on our side in November 2021 when drinks expert Chris Cosh joined the business as both an investor and Head of Commercial which enabled Tongue In Peat to finally launch, nearly 5 years later than planned.
18 months after launching, we have won 2 Great Taste awards, been listed in some of the most sought after venues in the UK and have been called the “UK’s Best Bloody Mary Mixer” by The Times, Forbes, BBC Good Food and Guardian.
We are a small, happy team based on the outskirts of Glasgow who love Bloody Mary's!
Head of Commercial
Chris was raised in the drinks industry in the thriving family business. There isn’t much he doesn’t know about (and don’t even try and find someone he doesn’t know). Chris has both sold drinks across the UK then began buying drinks for a leading luxury restaurant group and is now working his magic at Tongue In Peat.
Hannah has worked in peated whiskies and drinks innovation for over 16 years. This inspired the collision of both worlds to create a range of peat smoked mixers. Since 2017, Hannah has co-founded and launched a craft bottling facility designed to produce the world’s most innovative beverages. Guess what, Tongue In Peat is hand produced here.
Having spent over 40 years operating a dairy drinks business, George decided it was time for a new challenge. George is that person you know who can build and operate anything – and that’s just what he did. He designed a bespoke smokehouse, hand built every inch of it and has now refined the smoking process so it's second to none. We are ever so glad George choose peat over milk for his swan song.