David Wilkinson along with the help of Greg Kenicer, from Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens, has developed and produced new limited edition Edinburgh Gin, 1670. Available only in specialist retailers as well as their own website, this is a niche botanical product, which has grown from highly advised knowledge.
David from Edinburgh Gin spoke with The Fountain about the development process, his personal favourite Edinburgh Gin and where we might expect to see the bottle.
TF: Edinburgh Gin have a new limited edition gin, 1670, what brought this about?
It was a natural partnership given what we both do. Gin requires botanicals for flavour, the Botanic Garden offers access to plants a regular botanical supplier would never be able to provide. Edinburgh Gin has always had a scientific approach to recipe development so to work with one of the world’s leading botanists very much reflects our ethos.
TF: And you have worked with the Royal Botanic Gardens to make this happen, how has this process worked?
It began with me consulting with botanist Greg Kenicer who took me on a tour of the garden. We looked at several species of plants with Greg giving me guidance on what may have interesting flavours and most importantly what was safe to use. I examined a range of leaves, seeds and berries to decide what had potential. Crushing botanicals in the hands and smelling the essential oils that come out is the best way to get an idea of the flavour properties.
TF: And with six special ingredients from the gardens, why those ingredients?
After finding a selection of botanicals that felt interesting to use, each one was distilled individually as part of a basic gin recipe. Taste testing was done to assess the flavour contribution of each botanical. The ones with the best flavoured were then paired up in varying combinations to see which flavours complimented one another. Eventually we found an interesting combination of flavours and focused on perfecting the ratios, so we had the right balance between each flavour.
TF: How accessible is the 1670, can we expect to see it across bars in the Capital city?
It’s a limited edition but I would expect it to have a strong presence throughout Edinburgh. It’s available to buy in John Lewis, through specialist retailers, the Edinburgh Gin distillery shop and online (RRP £40).
TF: What has been your own personal favourite EG product to date?
They are all special to me but Seaside probably has the most sentimental connection as I developed it in partnership with Heriot-Watt where I graduated in Brewing & Distilling. Cannonball also means a lot as it’s the first product I developed for Edinburgh Gin and has won the most awards. However I must say I’ve spent more time developing 1670 than any other gin so I think it may now take the honour of being my favourite.