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Luxury Wiltshire hotel launches gin using ingredients sourced from grounds

Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort in Wiltshire has launched its very own gin using ingredients sourced from its expansive grounds – providing gin enthusiasts a unique opportunity to ‘taste their surroundings’.

The venue, which sits at the heart of the 2,000-acre Bowood Estate, has unveiled its new and exclusive Bowood Botanicals Gin – having teamed up with Newbury-based Hawkridge Distillers to create a quintessentially British spirit, made using a traditional Victorian-era distilling method.

Using fresh and homegrown ingredients across its grounds, which are nestled in the heart of Wiltshire’s sprawling countryside, the hotel’s team are excited to bottle a total of 500 “little pieces of Bowood” to share exclusively with guests, as they seek to deliver memorable experiences for those who stay at their rural retreat.

The Bowood estate grows its own coriander, bergamot, rosemary, lavender, blackcurrant leaf and spearmint – all of which are used in the gin.

The rose petals used are grown on the Bowood House terraces and Private Walled Gardens – a 4-acre space containing a picking garden, working greenhouses and a kitchen garden full of fruits and vegetables. While the honey used in the refreshing and fruity tipple is also made directly from the Bowood Bees, which have hives located in the Private Walled Garden.

The finished product is a unique gin that gives off early citrus notes on the palate, before giving way to a juniper heart and heady floral tones – all smoothed with honey. The spirit is designed to be enjoyed with a Mediterranean tonic, a slice of grapefruit and plenty of ice.

James Gurney, Managing Partner at Hawkridge Distillers, said, “We feel very honoured and proud to have been selected to work with Bowood on the creation of their very own and extremely special London Dry Gin.

'When we were originally approached by the estate there was a clear vision to create true craft gin that represented the beautiful grounds and surrounding countryside.

'We sourced six botanicals all grown or produced on the estate, from quintessentially British rose petals grown on the Bowood House terraces and Private Walled Gardens to delicate lavender and honey from the busy bees that live on the grounds.”

The gin is created using a three-stage distilling process that includes a five-day tea creation, where certain botanicals are steeped in pure spirit and then strained so that only the liquid is used within the still. A steep then goes into the still before a basket infusion is used with the more delicate botanicals such as rose petals, which pass the steam through to capture the delicate flavour profiles.

James continued: “We use a traditional Victorian tea distilling method to create Bowood gin and although this is an extremely time-consuming process, somewhat rarely utilised by distillers today, it produces a silky-smooth liquid that feels as though it’s being absorbed straight into your tongue. We hope everyone that is lucky enough to taste it, loves it as much as we do.”

Each of the bottles created are individually numbered, with the owner of the Bowood Estate, Lord Lansdowne, being presented with the first: 001/500.

Jeff Condliffe, General Manager, said, “Our Deputy Assistant Manager, Pim Wolfs and team has been working hard behind the scenes to create a special drink exclusive to Bowood and we are very excited to finally be able to share our journey and final product with guests.

'It reflects our sustainable ethos as we champion locally sourced ingredients, the majority of which are homegrown and tended to by our team of experienced gardeners. We have also teamed up with a local distiller – for which we are very thankful for their efforts in enabling us to create something special that we can share with guests.”

The idea was born back in June when the six-strong ‘Bowood Gin’ committee met with James from Hawkridge Distillers and David Glass, Bowood’s Head Gardener, to look for inspiration for the botanicals in its expansive and rich gardens, including the Private Walled Garden – which guests can explore through private tours from April to October.

Jeff concluded: “Ultimately, we wanted guests to experience Bowood through the senses, and our new Bowood Gin offers the unique opportunity to smell and taste the magnificent and historic woodland and grounds within which the hotel sits. And we believe the gin will be a perfect way to warm the cockles as the colder nights draw in!”