Conker Gin, or Conker Spirit Dorset Dry Gin, to give it its full name, is distilled and bottled at the Conker Spirit Distillery, which is located in an old Victorian laundry, in Southbourne, Bournemouth and lays claim to being Dorset’s first gin. Production began in 2014 when founder and “Head Conkerer” Rupert Holloway went into productions. Conker Gin is made from a base spirit made from British wheat, 10 botanical and New Forest Spring Water. Conker Gin is a truly hand-crafted, small batch gin made in batches of only 60 bottles at a time. The base spirit for the gin is made from British wheat and this is then re-distilled in the presence of the botanicals in a small Alembic pot still. Conker gin is based on a classic dry gin recipe and is made from 10 botanicals. There are some botanicals that are fairly standard to most gins including juniper (a requirement for it to be a gin), seville orange peel, angelica root and coriander seed. Some of the other botanicals are a little bit more unusual and include dried elderberries, lime peel, dried marsh samphire and gorse flowers. The gorse flowers are very much a local product. The bright yellow gorse flowers are foraged from The New Forest in March and April and then dried. When fresh gorse flowers have a coconut character but when dried they have chamomile, sweet nectar character which they bring to the gin. After re-distillation with the botanicals, the gin is left to sit for 2 weeks, this period allows the gin to mellow, something that not gin goes through, prior to the addition of natural New Forest Spring water to bring the ABV down to 40% for bottling.