Oxford’s TOAD Distillery partners with University of Oxford for new gin

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Location: England

If your distillery is located about a mile from the oldest botanic garden in the country, you’re obliged to get over there and make a gin.

That’s exactly what The Oxford Artisan Distillery (TOAD) has done, given its proximity to the University of Oxford’s Botanic Garden. For its second gin, the distillery has signed a 25-year licence to produce spirits for the university. As a bonus, TOAD is now the only distiller with access to the garden.

The result is Physic Gin, packed with 25 botanicals, many foraged from the botanic garden, and using a base spirit distilled by TOAD from ancient grains grown near Oxford. ‘This gin is medicinal – in a good way,’ says master distiller Cory Mason. ‘Botanicals like wormwood, rue and sweet woodruff bring a deeply complex flavour to bear and take us back to the time when plants formed the base of all medicine.’

This likely won’t be the last spirit to result from the partnership with the university. ‘I’m looking forward to making spirits inspired by our historical collections and having some botanical fun along the way,’ Professor Simon Hiscock, director of the Oxford Botanic Garden, commented.

Originally known as a ‘physicke’ garden, the Oxford Botanic Garden was founded in 1621. In addition to the gardens, it includes seven glasshouses containing over 1,000 plant species.

The new gin joins Oxford Dry Gin and Oxford Rye Vodka, and there’s an absinthe on the way, not to mention the Oxford Rye Whiskey in the works.

42.1% abv, £34.95/50cl 

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Clinton Cawood

Clinton has been writing about drinks since landing in the UK in 2006 from his native South Africa. He's partial to all things agave, and is dependent on good coffee. He's still not a morning person. Follow him on @clintc.

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