Earliest gin recipe recreated for charityBy Becky Paskin
Gin expert Philip Duff has partnered with EWG Spirits & Wine to recreate what is believed to be the oldest recorded recreational gin, dating back to 1495.
Having discovered a recipe for the gin in an out-of-print Dutch-language book charting the history of jenever, Duff teamed with Villevert, Cognac-based EWG’s master distiller and founder Jean-Sebastien Robicquet to recreate it.
The original recipe came from the cookbook of a wealthy merchant in East Netherlands, and can now be found in the Sloane Manuscripts in the British Library.
The recipe called for ginger, galangal, clove, cinnamon, cardamom and grain of paradise, nutmeg, sage and juniper – all ingredients that were costly to procure at that time.
Duff worked with a team of spirits historians and experts, including David Wondrich, Dave Broom and Gary Regan to create a historically accurate version of the gin, as well as a modern interpretation.
The original recipe recreation – named Verbatim – carries an abv of 45% and has a rich, spicy flavour with notes of clove, cinnamon, sae and pepper.
The modern interpretation, also bottled at 45% abv, is called Interprětātǐo, and has more juniper and citrus notes for a zesty flavour.
“The 1495 recipe is not just the first chapter in a rich history of gin – this historic recipe, based on grape distillate, is part of the very foundation of the category”, said Philip Duff.
“With an unrivalled passion and understanding of the grape and vine, I knew that the team at Villevert would investigate this discovery and recreate the original recipe using traditional and authentic techniques and ingredients.”
The two expressions have been bottled and will be presented in a set of two in a handmade wooden box.
One limited edition set has been gifted to the Gin Guild, and will be auctioned in aid of The Benevolent, a charity which supports members of the drinks industry in times of need.
Bids for the auction can be made via firstname.lastname@example.org, and must be in sterling with a name and contact number.
Bids must be made before 1 December.