Behind the Blogger Featuring The Real Juniper Chick

Sometimes you come across someone and you just like everything about them. This is how I feel about Sandra, AKA The Real Juniper Chick. She has an opinion and the knowledge to back it up. She gives informed advice and is an absolute joy in the gin community.

Thanks so much for taking part Sandra!

Behind The Blogger

So, tell us what your page is about and do you write a blog or use mainly social media?

First of all, I wouldn’t call myself a Blogger. I’m mainly on Instagram as TheRealJuniperchick or Twitter as Juniperchick. My page is about gin and cocktails which are mostly gin, tequila, mezcal based. My Instagram is very focused on gin and cocktails, except for GinADayMay I went leftfield with my videos whilst still keeping to the theme. I thought I’d bring a smile to people’s faces especially in lockdown. It’s a bit mixed on Twitter, but again, I try to keep to food and drinks. These days, I find myself less on Twitter and more on Instagram. Twitter can be such a toxic place to be and such an echo chamber. It’s not because I don’t care about what’s happening in the world around me, but those discussions get really heated and very judgemental. I don’t want to be shouting at the screen. Life is too short for that. Not because I’m a private person, but I don’t need to tell the whole world everything about me. I prefer if people get to know me in real life rather than this alt social media.

What was the turning point that made you want to get involved in the drink community?

I’ve always been interested in drinks. The turning point – where I got more into cocktails rather than just drinking gin – was when we went to a cocktail masterclass organised by Bombay Sapphire for the Queen’s Jubilee celebration. We realised then that we rather enjoy this, and got a chance to be behind the bar. Scrolling back on my Insta, looks like I started back in 2014.

Do you have any goals?

Not really, My friend suggested that I should “curate” my posts, ie. have a focus rather than randomly posting stuff. I like gin, and enjoy my cocktails and go out to bars. It’s not so much a review but to share my experience with others who share my passion. I would review a gin if I’ve been gifted it but I don’t especially seek out to review them.

Do you have experience in the drink industry? And do you think this makes a difference to how people perceive your opinion?

I don’t have drinks experience but know a lot about the industry, so that helps to a certain extent. When we go to the bars, we sit at the bar and talk to bartenders. We show an interest and they enjoy sharing their knowledge with us too. Over the years, we have made friends with a lot of people in the industry.

What do you hope people take away from your posts?
I hope that people actually read my posts, especially the ones where I’ve made a cocktail and inspire them to experiment or try it out. We’re very good friends with other influencers and help them out a lot with cocktail advice and exchanging review notes.

Who are you when you are away from the gin and drinks pages? Tell us more about the person behind the name? By the way, where did you get the name for your page?

Back in the days when I had my first email account, my friend suggested Juniperchick as I like gin and have used that ever since. I’m originally from Malaysia and have been in the UK for 18 years. Apart from Malaysia and UK, I have lived in New Zealand and Singapore. In real life, I am a Talent Acquisiton Sepcialist for a legal publisher in Central London. I try to keep work separate from my social media profile. Most people who know me personally, also know that my other half is Julian Vallis. We both inspire each other to make cocktails as he has an excellent palate. He likes whisky as well whereas I prefer gin, tequila, mezcal and most white spirits. Apart from spirits, I also enjoy wine, champagne and other sparkling wines.

Is there anyone who has inspired your journey?

I don’t think my page is inspired by anyone specifically. However I get a lot of inspiration from great bartenders, the history of cocktails and cocktail books like Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, The Savoy Cocktail Book, Cafe Royal Cocktail book.

Future goals?

I’d like to have my own bar but I know it’s tough, and doesn’t make much or any money at all. Depending on work situation, I would like to do more videos (not just fun ones). Let’s see.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’d like to see more honesty amongst bloggers or so called influencers (I loathe that term by the way!)Also, everything I do on my Instagram is done for the love of gin and cocktails, not as a money making machine.

Brilliant to hear Sandra’s take on the industry and the part she plays. You can follow TheRealJuniperChick here:

I hope you are enjoying going behind the scenes with some of my favourite drink accounts!

Let me know if there’s anyone you want me to question!

Pam x


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