A CRAFT beer and artisan gin specialist has won a prestigious international award.

Dexter and Jones has beaten top companies across the world to scoop a bronze award in the International Wine and Spirit Competition.

More than 4,000 bottles from 86 countries were sampled by discerning judges.

Celebrity couple Katy and Adam Rickitt, best known for playing Nick Tilsley in Corrie, only took over the Princess Street shop and micro bar in Knutsford in November 2019, after falling in love with the place as regular customers.

The pair won the coveted trophy for their London dry gin Rufus, named after their Australian cattle dog.

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Rufus with the award-winning gin named after him

"We're chuffed, " said Good Morning Britain reporter Katy, who said they were inspired to create the gin from their holidays to Taormina in Sicily where they got engaged.

"We concocted the gin from Sicilian figs and lemon with added sage, lavender and mulberry.

"It's made with our fab friends and master gin makers Big Hill distillery who helped us turn it into something wonderful at their still in Mobberley."

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Katy and Adam Rickitt with master gin makers Big Hill distillery

The award-winning gin outperformed big names including Whitley Neil, Sipsmith, Edinburgh and Bulldog.

"Fig isn't something you'd usually put in gin but because it is a darker fruit it gives it a unique earthy base tone," said Katy. "We were only two marks off a silver which is pretty remarkable."

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Adam and Katy with their dogs Rufus, Tallulah and Daphne

The announcement came just days after the couple trebled the size of their premises, expanding into the former Knutsford Hair Spa unit next door.

"We stayed open throughout the whole build to cause minimum disruption," said Katy. "Now we've got a lot more space, we've introduced a bit of pub food with tapas boards."


Dexter and Jones offers more than 450 different craft beers, 10 draft beers, 40 wines and more than 100 gins from all over the world.

The couple have also made two other London dry gins of their own, Tallulah, a strawberry cheesecake flavour and Daphne, which tastes of blackcurrant tart, named after their two bulldogs.

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Katy and Adam Rickitt have named their own three gins after their dogs Rufus, Tallulah and Daphne

"We come up with the recipes and then keep going to the still checking and changing them," said Katy. "We used to go to Sicily whenever we could. We would always get fresh figs and sit on decking overlooking the sea.

"Recipes have to come from our own heart and our story."

The couple now hopes to make their own beer and rum.

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Dexter and Jones is much bigger now after expanding into the premises next door

Their store stayed open as an off licence throughout all the lockdowns which provided a lifeline for small independent breweries and themselves and also kept them in touch with the local community.

"We were extremely fortunate, because we are a bottle shop Trading Standards asked us to stay open," said Katy. "Adam and I did all the home deliveries. It was lovely because we got to know our customers really well.

"We brought a bottle of gin to an elderly gentleman. He told us we were the first human beings he had seen in two months and asked us to stay for a chat. It was lovely to talk to him.

"The pandemic had a massive effect on people's mental health and wellbeing. It was nice for us to be able to check up on people."

When restrictions lifted, the jewellers next door let them use their car park as a beer garden.

"We were gobsmacked by the amount of people sitting in our beer garden in December," said Katy. "People would rather sit outside than not see their friends. There were lots of cheery moments.

"There is a lovely community in Knutsford, it is a gorgeous place and everyone is so enthusiastic.

"One good thing that has come from lockdown is that if you want independent stores to survive you have to support them."