Spirits Label

Inspired by a Dickens’ novel and vintage books, the packaging of Chimes English Extra Dry Vermouth has a real tactility.

By on April 12th, 2019

The Surrey Copper Distillery is based in the heart of the beautiful county of Surrey in England, which has inspired authors, artists and artisans for centuries. The owners, Katherine and Chris Smart, make a distinctive library of spirits inspired by history and reflecting the very essence of England. The stills are made of Copper and have been designed and made to create unique flavor and aroma combinations.

Chimes English Extra Dry Vermouth is an English vermouth, handcrafted from Surrey Sauvignon Blanc blended with a distilled spirit infusion made using twelve botanicals. The recipe is inspired by descriptions of 18th century Turin (Piedmont) vermouths found in various archives and recipes for aromatized spirits, noted in Ambrose Cooper’s The Complete Distiller.

The packaging of Chimes English Extra Dry Vermouth is inspired by the owners’ background in the academia and by their passion for collecting rare, vintage books, especially the ones written by Charles Dickens. The vermouth is named after Charles Dickens’ The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In: a book he penned in 1844 whilst living in Genoa during a year-long Grand Tour of Italy.

The design is inspired by vintage book covers and draws upon a wide range of influences from the period, including the Arts & Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau and Orientalism. The stylized pictorial representation of grape vines replicates the floral patterns found on book covers from the late 1800s. The shape of the bottle features the identity from The Surrey Copper distillery and allows each volume to be stored as a library.


The reverse of the label reveals excerpts from the hand-written notes made by Chris Smart whilst researching the recipe and experimenting with different botanicals.

The label is printed on Constellation Snow Raster, produced by Arconvert. A natural paper of pure cellulose, embossed, with a worn finish and complemented by a distressed gilded copper. The bottle not only has an impact on the shelf but also has a real tactility and sense of authenticity in the hand, thanks to these refined finishes and to the texture of the Arconvert’s self-adhesive paper.