Reviews from our Local Launch
“Yet another exciting new gin, full of wonderful local flavours from the surrounding countryside. Congratulations!”
“Smooth, beautiful design, a bit too easy to drink! A-MAZE-GIN! Thank you.”
“The subtle botanicals enhance the gin to a beautiful finish. Fabulous concept and package-such skill and artistry.”
“Just love both the design and taste. V. clever indeed. Will study, learn and enjoy. Congratulations all involved.”
Review from Paul Jackson, The Gin Guide
“Ulverston Gin brings together herbal, herbaceous and floral notes in a showcase of local Cumbrian botanicals that is flavoursome, skilfully balanced and has a charming sense of provenance. The fresh herbal notes intertwine with the savoury herbaceous notes, while the floral botanicals have presence but without being overbearing. It is a gin that has been a labour of love for Andy & Zoe and this really shows in the finished product – a gin that Ulverston can be very proud of.”
Ginspiration struck on a walk up Hoad in our lovely town of Ulverston. We’ve been making Shed 1 Gin since 2016 and over the years we’ve learned so much about botanicals and become far more aware of what grows around us.
Sarah Atkinson, owner of The Medicine Garden and qualified Medical Herbalist, spent a morning with us wandering around Ulverston, sniffing out plants and herbs growing in various nooks and crannies. From the magnificent Linden tree in the churchyard of Ulverston Parish Church, to the Herb Robert climbing over the walls along the lanes; the Blackcurrant Leaves in Ford Park’s kitchen garden and the fabulous Gorse growing all over Hoad. Ulverston Canal towpath is home to Sheep Sorrel and Comfrey, We came across Speedwell and Elderflower down the Next Ness lanes to Plumpton. Stumbling over Ground Elder, Borage, Hawthorn, Meadowsweet…so many ideas started filling our minds and our little black gin book!
(Zoe Arnold-Bennett, Shed 1 Gin; Sarah Atkinson, Medicine Garden; Thea Jackson; Lindsay Ward. Image by Lindsay Ward)
And so Ulverston Gin was born. A limited-edition Gin (approximately 300 bottles) made with foraged botanicals picked in our l’al town.
Then we got to thinking a bit more. What if we use it to raise some money for our two charity partners? Part of every Ulverston Gin sale will go into our Marmalade Fund and at the end of the year we will donate to Furness Homeless Support Group and Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS). You can find out more about these charities by clicking on their names.
Then our cogs really started to whirl! If we’re using locally grown botanicals and donating to local charities, what about getting some local students involved?
Enter Lara and Mia, A Level Art and Media students at the local Furness College. We met up with them and outlined the brief for Ulverston Gin. They were both enthusiastic to be part of our growing project! Lara and Mia designed the Gin Pamphlet to be included with every sale. On one side is a map showing where we foraged and the other are descriptions/uses of the botanicals provided by Sarah Atkinson MNIMH Dip. Phyt. By combining their different styles, they’ve created stunning illustrations of the botanicals and Ulverston locations.
Sophie Bennett from Furness Media gave advice and Russ from Pixeltweaks helped create the label using Lara’s and Mia’s designs. It also showed Lara and Mia about the technical side needed when designing commercially.
We asked Lara and Mia how they felt about the project and you can read there responses here.
Humans have been foraging since time immemorial; however, please think about sustainability and the law. Not all plants are allowed to be picked (rare species are protected by law), and none should be uprooted. If you are on someone’s land, it’s polite to seek permission where able.
A good place to start for online information is the Woodland Trust. Or, if you have a qualified herbalist in your area, ask them about herb walks. Sarah Atkinson is a mine of information, as is Thea Jackson, also a medical herbalist who works for us, as well as having her own business, Lost in the Apothecary.
Forage only what you need from sites where the plant is abundant. Leave enough for birds and insects to consume and for repopulation to continue.
Avoid uprooting and damaging the plants.
Use a “plant identifier” to check what you are picking and if in doubt, leave it alone! Some plants are poisonous but may look similar to one that isn’t. Don’t take the chance!
Word of Warning!
We distil all the botanicals. Allergens and poisons don’t carry over in the distillation process so we can use ingredients that would otherwise be harmful. For example, Comfrey is used in herbal medicine as a poultice, not to be taken internally. However, when it is distilled the flavour remains and the nasties are discarded. If you would like to learn more about how to use botanicals in both compound and distilled Gins, come along to one of our Make Your Own Gin Experiences.
The botanicals in Ulverston Gin are Juniper, Elderflower, Speedwell, Gorse, Strawberry Mint, Linden Flower, Comfrey, Herb Robert, Blackcurrant Leaves, and Sheep Sorrel. you can find out more about them here.
Thank you to all the organisations who were involved in our Ulverston project, including Fingerprints printers who also provided templates for our artists and helped with editing.
Local Launch: Monday, 15th August
From Monday, 15th August, Ulverston Gin will be available from The Old Calf Shed, Ulverston.
Some of the lovely visitors we had at the Ulverston Gin Launch including Our very own Lindsay and Thea; Craig Blackburn from Ambleside’s Michelin starred “The Old Stamphouse”; the head gardener of Ford Park Kitchen Garden, Val Madden with Sarah Atkinson of “The Medicine Garden”, Rob O’Hara, Beth & Steve Pipe, local authors; Ulverston’s Mayor, Michelle Scrogham; Siobhan & Martin Miles-Moore, potters extraordinaire with Gill Haigh, MD of Cumbria Tourism; Lara Gaskell & Mia Griffiths, Furness College Art students who created the designs for the pamphlet and label.
National Launch: Friday, 23rd September
From Friday, 23rd September, Ulverston Gin will be available from The Old Calf Shed, Ulverston and via our online shop.