Bespoke, Local Watercress Gin Joys

It’s true to say that making bespoke gin is not only my speciality here at The Gin Palace but one of my favourite things to do. Today I started the day with a sunny visit to the Vitacress Salad Farm in Abbotts Ann where the lovely Ron had just finished harvesting a bag of fresh watercress for me. 15 minutes later I was back at the Gin Palace and making the gin!

This glorious bespoke gin is for the Abbotts Ann Village Stores. The shop is about 3 minutes from the watercress farm and about 10 minutes from The Gin Palace so it’s super local. I love working with other small businesses to come up with an idea for their very own gin. We chat about the story behind the business and what botanicals work with that story. It wasn’t straightforward at the Abbotts Ann shop; there were plenty of options. We discussed a village apple collection which would then be made into gin as well as the watercress which was also an obvious choice being grown so close to the shop. Samples were made and committee meetings held (rather popular committee meetings as well with the offer of gin tasting being involved!) The watercress was decided on and the rest is history!

Another thing I love about working with the fresh ingredients is that no batch is exactly the same. Talking to Ron at the salad farm he explained that the watercress he had just harvested was very young; the first crop. So it would have a lovely fresh vibrant taste but wouldn’t be as firey as the watercress harvested later in the season that has had time to mature. I just think that’s so interesting and wonderful. So no excuse saying you have a bottle of the gin in the cupboard – drink up and buy a new one each season for the full flavours!

Anyway, that’s my Thursday ramblings! I just love bespoke products and locally sourced, fresh ingredients I couldn’t help myself!

If you’d like to try the Abbotts Ann Village Stores Gin, made with locally grown watercress then head over to the shop to buy a bottle or two. You can find them on Duck Street, Abbotts Ann, Andover, SP11 7AZ. 01264 710230.

There’s also a cheeky bottle behind the bar here at The Gin Palace to try too if you’re popping in for a drink on a Friday or Saturday night.



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