I said there would be a second post about my visit to Winchester, but with the school holidays and all that it's taken me this long to make good on my promise. However, it's a booze filled post so I hope it's been worth the wait !
|Fields of watercress|
So when me and my fellow bloggers went to visit the Winchester Distillery we were sworn to secrecy about where it is. The drive through the beautiful Hampshire countryside revealed enormous fields of watercress - which explains the watercress line where we've taken the boys on steam train before now. The herb is an important part of the process so pay attention as it will become relevant later !
So first up I know we're all supposed to be keen consumers of artisan gins nowadays and while I enjoy a G & T when we visit the in-laws it's not my go to drink of choice. It harks back to an unfortunate student prank where my friend Phil woke up to find his entire bedroom had been put outdoors and he was asleep in his bed in front of halls. He drank an entire bottle of gin to deal with the trauma and the smell of gin was so overpowering that I couldn't drink it for years afterwards.
Anyway, now we have an entire festival devoted to gin - I mentioned Ginchester previously - and there is an advent calender you can buy with a different botanical for every day of advent. I have grown to enjoy the occasional gin and also realised how diverse the flavours can be.
On our visit to the distillery we were shown the specially designed still and the unique botanicals that are used in the process. This is where the fields of watercress come in. Ok, so usually it's a salad ingredient in my house, but believe me when I tell you that added to an artisan gin it gives an amazing taste hit.
|Enormous and specifially designed still|
When we were invited to taste the different gins it took all of two seconds for all of us to sit down raring to go. I've never tried gin without a mixer before so it was a bit of a revelation I can tell you !
The Twisted Nose gin has a real kick to it which is surprising, but really tempting to go back for more. I did decide to add tonic - I am a lightweight - because we were trying a few different gins and I wanted to have a chance of remaining at least a little sober. Failed !!
|Twisted Nose - gin with a twist of watercress|
Winchester Distillery make a range of gins and it's worth trying them out - not least the seasonal gins which would make a fab present. They are working on distribution through shops at the moment and you can order online.
|The Winchester Distillery range|