Gin, despite its Dutch origins, has become a very British institution and has enjoyed something of a revival of interest in recent years. There are many more small distillers in the UK creating high-quality artisanal gins using a variety of unusual botanicals to infuse their version with individuality. One such distiller is Warner Edwards based in Northamptonshire. Tom Warner and Sion Edwards both come from farming backgrounds and met at agricultural college before setting up their distillery in a small barn on Tom's family's farm at Harrington.
This is not an industrial affair. They distil small batches of 500 litres made up of 250 litres of neutral grain spirit and 250 litres of water drawn from a spring a few hundred yards away. The copper pot still, named Curiosity and bespoke manufactured in Germany, has a role to play in the quality of the gin because extended contact between the vapour and the copper gives a smoother spirit. There are eleven botanicals including coriander, orange, black pepper, cardamom, elderflower and nutmeg and, as with any good story about food and drink, there is a secret ingredient in the mix that remains locked away in Tom and Sion's heads. Each batch makes 700 bottles, each hand filled, having been cut to 44% abv, and sealed with a cork, waxed and wrapped with copper wire about the neck.