Sometimes as a food blogger, little treats pop up. My true love is gin so when I was invited to visit the Warner Edwards distillery with the BBC Good Food Show team, I immediately replied with a big fat yes!
I’ve known and loved their gin for a couple of years now, having first discovered it at (funnily enough) the BBC Good Food Show. They are relatively local to me too, around 45 mins drive away, in a pretty village somewhere between Northampton and Kettering.
Based at a working farm, the distillery is in an old dusty barn, directly opposite the fields in which the spring water used to make the gin is collected. Tom and Sion have been firm friends since meeting at university and began making gin together in 2012 at Tom’s family farm (although they do use elderflower from Sion’s farm in Wales too).
Sion Edwards, one half of the Warner Edwards duo and Harriet Roe, Business Development Manager were there to give us a tour and explain a bit about what they do. We started out in the fields to really get a sense of where this gin comes from and then moved inside to hear more about the company and of course, to try the products. One thing which really made me laugh was Sion’s story about when they first started ‘researching’ the gin market. They spent an evening in the village pub sampling all the gins, got drunk and forgot to take any notes. So.. of course they had to do it all again!
Recognise the copper still in the pictures below? Its a Holstein copper still, the same one you’ll have seen on my blog post about Burleigh’s gin here in Leicestershire. There are now 9 Holstein copper stills being used in the UK but Warner Edwards were the first to get one. Theirs is called Curiosity and she’s a beauty!
Since Warner Edwards began in December 2012, 156 new gins have been introduced to the UK market. With this in mind, it’s testament to their skill and the quality of their products that they’ve won lots of awards including the IWSC Silver awarder their Harrington dry gin and double gold at the San Fransisco awards for both their Harrington dry and sloe gin.
They now have four gins on the market – their signature Harrington dry, a sloe gin, elderflower and, my favourite, a rhubarb gin (using Queen Victoria’s own rhubarb no less). The Elderflower gin is made using elderflowers from their own farms, in Northamptonshire and Wales, and can only be made once a year because the flowers need to be harvested and used within 4 hours to capture their flavour.
Before we finished for the day, Harriet made us a delicious rhubarb & ginger gimlet.
My advice – get yourself a bottle of the Rhubarb gin at the BBC Good Food Show (or from M&S if you can’t get to the show) and give this recipe a try:
- 60 ml Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin
- A quarter teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
- Half a lime, juiced
- Splash of Fever-Tree Ginger Ale
- Shake the first three ingredients well over ice,
- Double strain into a chilled Martini glass.
- Top up with a splash of ginger ale.
- Garnish with a slice of fresh ginger & enjoy!
*My visit to Warner Edwards was arranged by the BBC Good Food Show because I am on their blogger panel. All opinions are my own and I wasn’t asked to plug the gin in any particular way. I’ve loved WE for several years already and really do think its a fabulous tipple!*