The story of our Shakespeare Gin

Posted by Adam Sherratt on

‘O mickle is the powerful grace that lies

In plants, herbs, stones and their true qualities’

 

Romeo & Juliet

One small (20cl) and one large (50cl) bottle of Shakespeare Gin Signature Edition

We’re delighted to launch our very own Shakespeare Gin, a small batch copper distilled dry gin made with traditional botanicals, rosemary, lavender and honey. 

Working closely with award-winning local distiller, Pinnock Distillery, we’ve created a bespoke gin inspired by Shakespeare’s plays and poems and the herbs and flowers he would have known. From The Winter’s Tale, we’ve taken ‘hot lavender’ and mints, and from Hamlet, rosemary ‘for remembrance’. We’ve blended these with traditional Tudor botanicals such as angelica and cassia (cinnamon). The lavender and rosemary are harvested from the gardens of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shakespeare’s Birthplace and New Place, and the honey we’ve added for sweetness and viscosity is made by the bees at Anne Hathaway’s. 

Hand-coloured illustrations of Mint, Lavender and Rosemary from Gerard's Herball

Pinnock Distillery is located in the Warwickshire countryside, at the Castle at Edgehill, overlooking the site of the historic Civil War battle. Just as Pinnock draws on its historical connections and the distilled spirits or 'strong waters' of the seventeenth century, so we have looked back to the herbals and household manuals published in Shakespeare's time, to the medicinal use of herbs and the homemade remedies that were very much a part of everyday life. Thomas Hill’s The Gardener’s Labyrinth (1577) outlines the physike benefit of eche herbe, plant, and floure, with the vertues of the distilled waters of euery of them’, and Gervase Markham’s Maison Rustique or The Country Farm (1616) includes ‘a briefe discourse on the distilling of Waters’. The distilling process is in fact little changed since Shakespeare’s time, when ‘an extractor of quintessences’ would add ingredients to stills remarkably similar in shape and design to those used in the gin-making process today.

16th-century illustration of stills, copper still at Castle Gin School with view of Edgehill through the window, pouring botanicals into a still

From the alchemy at work in the very first sample we created at Pinnock’s to the delicious and carefully crafted final blend, we’ve tried to capture something of the Shakespearean world and the Shakespeare family homes today - literally a spirit of place. The shape of the bottles is a nod to the apothecaries of old, the coloured labels echo the blue flowers of the rosemary in Gerard’s Herball (1597), and we’ve used typography inspired by early printed books in the Trust’s collection along with the WS design of Shakespeare’s signet ring.

The result is our Signature Edition blend, a beautifully bottled traditional dry gin with fresh herbal notes of rosemary and mint, floral lavender and sweet honey, balanced with a hint of clean lemon citrus.

Our first batch of Shakespeare Gin is available in a limited edition of 60 50cl bottles and 130 20cl bottles.  

Shop our Signature Edition blend here

 


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