Spring is the perfect season to talk about relaxing with friends or family on holiday, sipping beautiful drinks, and watching the world pass by. So, we took the opportunity to speak with Elwyn Gladstone of the brand Hotel Starlino to discuss what makes his drinks feel like you’re on holiday.

Tell us about the journey that led you to launch your brand Hotel Starlino…

We have spent a lot of time travelling and staying in Torino/Turin – where we work with a very nice family-owned distillery called Torino Distillati. Turin has some of the most beautiful architecture, piazzas, etc. in Europe – it also has the most stylish hotels and bars where you can enjoy an aperitivo before your meal – a little bit of food and delicious cocktail or spritz. We were inspired to create a range of delicious aperitivi based on this – delicious drinks that reminded us of that moment.

Hotel Starlino

If you were to describe your business mantra in three words, what would they be?

Always be different.

What advice would you offer someone interested in launching a new alcoholic brand?

Always be different.

Talk us through an average business day in your life at Hotel Starlino…

We spend a lot of time working on presenting our products to new bars and restaurants, working on interesting marketing ideas – social media ideas, new cocktail ideas and new flavours.

Business can be an upward struggle at times, what do you do to stay positive?

Remember that what we are doing is fun and brings people a lot of pleasure and enjoyment.

What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?

If anyone tells you they have a vision, you should tell them to visit a psychiatrist.

How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?

It is absolutely the most important thing that we do in terms of marketing – it allows us to reach people all over the world, and to explain our brand and build its world. It has been a game changer for small brands like ours – and while big companies can outspend us, they can’t necessarily outthink us.

The Hotel Starlino bottles remind us of old-style apothecary bottles, what made you choose these unique designs?

We love the turn-of-the-century design of Italian and French hotels – and we try to weave in lots of interesting things that make our bottle a beautiful thing to have in your house. We think of wine and spirits packaging as a piece of design that you should be proud of to display. We also apply the “candlestick” rule – would you keep our packaging to use as a candlestick? If not, you have not done a great job! Great packaging is never thrown away.

How do you want people to feel when they first taste a Hotel Starlino vermouth or aperitivo?

As if they are sitting on a beautiful terrace in Torino looking out over the sun setting on the city with friends about to enjoy a delicious meal.

Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list and which of your drinks would you like to sip while on your travels?

I would love to visit Valle d’Aosta – on the Italian side of Mont Blanc – Monte Bianco – I would enjoy a great Negroni there.

What’s next for your brand?

We are expanding our distribution into many countries across the world.

Where can people find out more about Hotel Starlino?

Our website and social media sites are great.
Website: thestarlino
Instagram: @thestarlino
Facebook: @thestarlino
Twitter: @thestarlino


A veteran in global travel, Rachel also loves to explore hidden gems on home turf. She’s a writing connoisseur of Britain’s best hotels, luxury beauty products, and UK food and drink launches.

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