Cotswolds Distillery Employs Resident Botanist
The initial focus at the Cotswolds Distillery is in the creation of their Cotswolds Dry Gin Inaugural Release (available from September, RRP £33/70cl bottle). The distilling team, headed up by Alex Davies, have created a 151 strong and growing single-botanical distillate library (the largest of its kind on this scale) in order to help them with the recipe development needed to deduce final gin recipes.
Alex comments, “Using these rare Cotswolds botanicals will help us to see the effects of distillation upon never before used flora before incorporation into our Cotswolds Dry Gin recipe. Having Benedict’s vast knowledge of unusual and incredibly interesting plants and herbs is of huge importance to help us create a perfectly balanced and unique gin.”
Working alongside the full-time distilling team will be experienced and discerning botanist, researcher, ecologist and horticulturist Benedict Pollard. With over 20 years research experience, both in the UK (including research in the Cotswolds, for Kew Gardens and the Royal Horticultural Society) and abroad (Africa, Portugal and South America), Benedict’s main areas of expertise are focussed on biodiversity conservation, with particular emphasis on the taxonomy, distribution and conservation of plants.
With over 100 publications and a number of books under his belt, many featuring his work in East Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds, Benedict truly is an expert in environmental stewardship. With an interest and ongoing practical research in herbalism and shamanism, Benedict is bringing a plethora of skills to the Cotswolds Distillery team, already including the revelation of a number of typical Cotswolds botanicals that could be considered for use in the Cotswolds Dry Gin recipe.
Botanicals include the Red Hemp Nettle; a member of the mint family, pennycress, and quince seeds, which the distilling team have already set to work upon distilling for inclusion into their single-botanical library.
Benedict comments, "I am so excited to have come on board with the Cotswolds Distillery. I already have a number of novel ideas using rarely before seen botanicals to incorporate into some sensational recipes. With my background in conservation, we will also be able to breathe new life into some lesser known botanicals, growing them sustainably on-site at the distillery, whilst also promoting their existence and use in a responsible manner."
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