Spirit Communicator of the Year nominee: Tom Sandham

IWSC news

Thu 26 Jul 2018

By Laurel Bibby

Tom Sandham is the co-creator of the Thinking Drinkers, a company specialising in drinks communication that has bridged the gap between tasting and entertainment. As one half of the Thinking Drinkers, Sandham writes about spirits across a host of consumer and trade titles, appears regularly on national radio and television, consults for brands, and educates consumers and bar professionals. 

The Thinking Drinkers present a live theatre project that includes a unique comedy drinks tasting educating consumers on the diversity and quality of spirits. Since launching at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2011, the world’s largest cultural festival, the show has been performed in front of more than 100,000 people, entertaining and educating consumers across the UK. 

Sandham is also the former editor of CLASS Magazine, author of the award-winning book, ‘World’s Best Cocktails’, and spirits columnist for The Telegraph online. He’s enjoyed commissions for titles including National Geographicand TheSun, and has reinvented and produced an editorial magazine for the Carlsberg Spirits distribution company, Distilled.

Sandham is an expert communicator across all platforms, but is especially proud of the Thinking Drinkers’ live show, through which he believes they “have created something completely unique and entirely successful,” proven by the show’s record for selling out major UK theatres. 

“Perhaps what makes what we do differently is that we have recognised the best way to reach a consumer is through their mouth,” says Sandham. 

“We have now learned that the best way to change the mindset of a consumer is to get them drinking the spirit as they are educated. The show is where we have taken spirits communication to a new level”, he said.

Judges praised Sandham’s ability to communicate with a broad audience, saying that he “harnesses his significant industry credentials to deliver the ultimate in drinks ‘edu-tainment’ . . . He never loses sight of the vital fact – to communicate is to entertain with purpose.” 

The IWSC Spirit Communicator of the Year 2018 will be announced at the IWSC Awards Banquet on 14 November.