New gin flavoured with plants which grow on Hampstead Heath
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A gin inspired by the plants which bloom around Hampstead Heath is the latest addition to the craft spirit revolution.
First there was Highgate's frankincense-flavoured Sacred Gin - a nod to the area's famous cemetery - now The Heath distillery is making small batch gins flavoured with dandelion, rose, hawthorn berries, burdock, rowan, and sorrel.
"We're bottling the spirit of the heath," said co-founder Callum Sinclair, who conceived the idea during daily strolls with his wire-haired Dachshund.
"We adore the Heath and walked there every day pre-pandemic. It's such a peaceful break from working in the city, and there was no better fit for our distillery than the heath with its plethora of flora and fauna ."
Sinclair and partner Mercedesz Bondi have experience in the drinks industry; he worked his way through university as a mixologist in Edinburgh's bars, while Bondi has a background running pop-up cocktail bars.
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The couple lived in Crouch End then Highgate but moved to Yorkshire during the pandemic where they are distilling in a copper pot in their garage.
"We launched three weeks ago and this has used all our savings, but we plan to be back as Highgate residents this year and produce locally," he said. "And we would love to open a gin bar and bottle shop in Hampstead in future."
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The couple aimed to create "a local superior London Dry gin made in the traditional way, that is pitch perfect in a classic gin and tonic."
London Dry is a quality rather than geographic designation, a 96 percent proof spirit extracted from a still with no added colours or sweeteners, watered down to 40 percent ABV.
"It's the purest way to make gin. The natural plant materials must be added through the distillation," says Sinclair. "Ours has 16 botanicals including juniper, sorrel, hawthorn, rowan and mountain ash."
The couple are targeting the discerning gin-lover with the mantra 'drink less, drink better.'
“It's the drinker who values quality over quantity, and taste above cost… those who drink less but drink better encapsulates our approach.”
The Heath Distillery is donating a portion of profits to volunteer conservation charity Heath Hands.
The Heath Superior London Dry Gin is £38 for 70cl, The Raspberry & Rose Pink Gin £36 and The CBD London Dry Gin made with Hampstead Heath botanicals including hawthorn berries, sorrel, and Highgate Honey retails at £45.
Order from the website https://www.theheathdistillery.com/