A very local tipple

Hertfordshire-based Puddingstone Distillery has teamed up with local charity The Box Moor Trust to create a special limited-edition gin to celebrate the Trust’s 425th anniversary. Using rare juniper that has been cultivated on the Trust’s land, the commemorative gin takes its name from the year the charity was founded. ‘1594 Spirit of Box Moor’ will be launched this weekend as part of the Autumn Festival celebrations held on Blackbirds Moor, Boxmoor.

425 bottles each at 42.5% ABV have been created by the award-winning distillery, one for each year of the Trust’s history. The self-supporting charity manages nearly 500 acres of grazing and amenity land on the outskirts of Hemel Hempstead and Bovingdon, with a remit to maintain the area’s natural environment and wildlife on behalf of the local community.

Each of the commemorative bottles features an individually numbered tag made from paper created from used gin botanicals. These have been handmade at the nearby Frogmore Paper Mill adding to the local provenance of Puddingstone’s latest product.

Puddingstone Distillery is run by local husband and wife team Ben and Kate Marston. Commenting on their latest product, Ben said, “When we were first setting up the distillery in 2016, we learned that juniper used to grow locally but over the years had sadly succumbed to disease. We were excited to later learn that The Box Moor Trust had been working to re-introduce and cultivate juniper plants on their land. When we were offered the chance to use it to create something to celebrate the Trust’s anniversary we were delighted and happy to take on the challenge. Unlike many gins produced in England that use juniper from Eastern Europe it’s fantastic to have produced our latest gin using juniper grown just a few miles down the road from our distillery.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Mark Spokes from The Box Moor Trust said, “The re-introduction of the juniper is a fabulous example of the Trust’s work. The new plants have thrived and the first harvesting by our team of volunteers resulted in not only the removal of berries suitable for Puddingstone’s latest gin, but also old growth and dead foliage. This process ensures the future wellbeing of the plants and in the long term will lead to an increase in the yield and quality of the juniper. We’re delighted to have the support of this local business in raising awareness of the work we do.”

This classic London dry style gin combines the Hertfordshire grown juniper with specially selected botanicals including fresh lime peel, a historical nod to the fact that Box Moor Wharf (now home to B&Q) was the home of Roses Lime Cordial from 1946 till 1983.

1594 Spirit of Box Moor will be available to purchase at The Box Moor Trust Autumn Festival, from the Puddingstone Distillery shop (open Friday and Saturdays) in Wilstone, Tring or via the website at https://puddingstonedistillery.com. £2 from the sale of each bottle goes to The Box Moor Trust.

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