Business venture

James May reveals surprising news about latest business venture

In a recent DriveTribe video where James May meets the marque’s V10-powered BMW 5 Series E61 Touring, he reveals that his latest business venture, James Gin, is yet to turn a profit.

James Gin started last year as the Grand Tour presenter documented his gin journey. Starting with chemistry and formulating her favorite flavor, May decided to infuse the gin with Asian spices and good ol’ British parsnip – a first for a drink of this type.

In August 2021, he unveiled the company’s first bottle, named James Gin: Asian Parsnip. The first batch sold out almost immediately, and positive reviews of the spirit poured across the internet, including ours.

Watch our review

In March 2022, James returned to our screens thanks to the Power of FoodTribe, now renamed “What Next?”, to reveal a new product – James Gin Asian Parsnip Navy Strength. This, again, sold out very quickly.

But in this recent DriveTribe video, James admitted he wasn’t making a profit.

Looking around the M5, presenter Mike Fernie asks James, “Could you buy our M5 with the profits from James Gin?”

“No,” James replies quickly. “I didn’t make any money with James Gin. It is a non-profit exercise. Kind of like this pub,” he says, referring to his pub, The Royal Oak.

As we reported in 2020, May bought “half a pub” alongside another investor in the small Wiltshire village of Swallowcliffe. Thanks to the pandemic, it has spent more time closed than open, and May is obviously struggling to make a profit right now.