If you like spirits and you enjoy buying local produce, you will probably have already come across Wilkins & Sons fruit gins from Tiptree in Essex. The Wilkins family have been fruit farming forever, since the 1800`s, and a happy union with the Hayman gin family gave rise to their English Damson, Raspberry, and Rhubarb, among others. We`ve been selling them for years. Then came along another Wilkinson family with ideas of their own. This one from Sudbury in Suffolk. This time, The Suffolk Distillery. Master Distiller, Gary Wilkinson, had a dream. Initially it was “to escape the rat race”, and later it became, “to create a premium craft-distilled gin that embodies the very essence of the county that he is proud to call home”. Thus, Suffolk Dry Gin was born, using only the best distilled English grain spirit and natural botanicals, of juniper berries, coriander, cassia bark and cinnamon. We are delighted to have this in stock now, along with half-bottles of his Strawberry and Cucumber Suffolk Gin, Salted Caramel Vodka, and Bolivian Chocolate Spiced Rum. How lucky we are to have so much talent on our doorsteps. Then, there`s Jumbo gin, of course, a best-seller here in Gt Horkesley, named after Colchester`s iconic water tower, creation of Hayter`s Independent Spirits. Master Distiller Chris Hayter produces his gins in Highwoods. He describes his gins as: “Distilled and handcrafted in England`s oldest recorded town”. Thankfully, not Britain`s 1st City!
Finally, there`s Oystermen gin. While not actually distilled locally, it is inspired by a love for the Essex coastline and product development is local, in Abberton. Created by friends Godwin Baron and Gavin Miklaucich, the gin is infused with oyster leaf, and the nautical label, of an oyster trawler, is a linocut by Wivenhoe artist James Dodds. Additionally, on the reverse side of the bottle, there is a poem entitled “The North Sea”, by Wivenhoe poet Martin Newell. It is already selling like hot cakes in our shop. Indeed, a big hoorah for all these local innovations. They deserve our support. Cheers everyone!