An authentic 1930s botanical gin hits UK off-trade

16 May, 2016

A new small batch gin – one of only three single estate gins distilled in the UK – is set to launch under the Spitfire Heritage brand.

The gin, which is being brought to market by a team led by the founder of The Spitfire Heritage Trust, has already secured a national listing with Wine Rack, as well as international supplier Hammonds of Knutsford.

Spitfire Heritage Gin, described as “a beautiful and authentic 1930s botanical gin”, is a fusion of juniper, two types of orange, almonds and borage, alongside coriander, rosemary, star anise and rose petals.

It is designed to celebrate the young lady pilots of the ATA who kept Britain’s airbases supplied with Spitfires, often dodging German Messerschmitts in the process. These women, who flew unarmed and in dangerous skies, were known to carry a snifter of gin as part of their kit.

The brand was established by Ian Hewitt along with his wife Sarah and the couple’s business partner Denise France. He said: “The Spitfire is much more than a vintage aircraft. It is a Great British icon that symbolises the coming together of all the Nations of the Commonwealth in defence of our common human values and freedoms that transcend culture, religion and gender: our freedom to live and love and drink gin with whomsoever we choose.”

The gin itself was created by master distiller John Walters, who was voted distiller of the best gin in the world 2015 (and best rum). 




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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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