From grain to grape

Location: England, Europe

An English gin made from a neutral grape spirit – indeed the first ever – is set to launch on World Gin Day on 14 June.

Named after the Sussex hamlet where the idea for the gin was conceived, Chilgrove is a small-batch gin made by Charles Maxwell at Thames Distillers for brand founders Christopher Tetley and Dr Celia Beaumont-Hutchings.

‘It has taken many years researching and tasting the gins we respect and enjoy, along with the history of the spirit itself, to launch Chilgrove as a gin we are truly proud of,’ said Tetley. ‘English gin as we know it today has its roots in 16th Century Holland and is derived from the juniper‐based drink genever, which was originally made using alcohol distilled from wine. The change to a cereal base occurred as a result of a wine shortage in Holland, driven by the significant effects of the Little Ice Age on European viticulture, coupled with changes in the political landscape.’

After that useful history lesson, we can share that the 44% abv spirit has been made from 11 botanicals, including juniper, coriander seed, savory, angelica, orris and liquorice roots, lime, sweet and bitter oranges, grains of paradise and water mint.

Maxwell says of Chilgrove: ‘The neutral grape spirit base helps to give a soft mouthfeel and bring forward floral notes as it combines with the citrus botanicals. This is a big, powerful, complex gin.’

RRP £29/70cl, Chilgrove Dry Gin, [email protected]

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