New conservationist gin uses English juniper29th July, 2014 by Amy Hopkins
A new small batch gin claiming to be the “world’s only” gin infused with English juniper berries is working to create a sustainable population of juniper in Surrey.
Recently launched Becketts Gin is made using handpicked juniper berries from Box Hill in Surrey and mint grown in Kingston-upon-Thames, as well as a range of other botanicals including Moroccan lime and Spanish orange peel.
Since Box Hill is owned by the National Trust, Becketts is undertaking a long-term project in partnership with the Forestry Commission to create a new sustainable population of juniper.
In July last year, it was revealed that a deadly fungus, called Phytophthora austrocedrae, was spreading through the British countryside, killing off juniper berry bushes.
Charity Plantlife therefore teamed up with the Forestry Commission, the DEFRA and Berry Bros. & Rudd’s No. 3 London Dry Gin, to grow juniper populations.
No. 3 Gin recently pledged £1,000 to help save remaining juniper plants in Gloucestershire, West Sussex and Wiltshire.
“Juniper is in steep decline in England and is therefore a priority species for conservation,” Neil Beckett, founder of Becketts Gin said.
The brand will be working to create a new juniper population on Juniper Top in Surrey, an area where the plant is now extinct, using seed from other populations.
The project will commence in October 2014 and is expected to last several years.
While most juniper used in gin distillation is sourced from Italy, the Balkans and other parts of Southern Europe, another conservationist gin, called Crossbill, which uses Scottish juniper, was launched in February this year.
The gin is now available from select online retailers at an RRP of £31.50.