Twisted Nose Watercress Dry Gin is made in Winchester, Hampshire by Paul Bowler. It was first released in May 2013 and was really at the forefront of the new gin revolution of recent years. When it was released, in 2013, Winchester Distillery was the first and only gin producer in Hampshire. Of course, it has since been joined by others Hampshire gins like Silverback Gin from Four Marks near Alton. Twisted Nose has a very good unique selling point: it is the only Gin in the UK to use watercress as one of its botanicals (as far as I know, although I am ready to be proved wrong!). As you may know, watercress grows locally around Winchester and the Meon Valley where the crystal clear chalk streams provide an ideal habitat. Watercress is from the genus Nasturtium (not to be confused with genus of flowering Nasturtiums which is actaully Trapaeolum). In Latin Nasturtium means “twisted nose” and is said to be named after the effect on ones nose after eating the spicy, peppery leaves. Hence Twisted Nose Watercress Dry Gin . The water used to make this gin is, of course, local New Forest Spring Water.
Watercress, sourced from The Watercress Company, is only one of 10 botanicals used to make Twisted Nose Gin, the others are juniper, coriander, pink grapefruit zest, cassia bark, fennel seed, lavender, orris, angelica and liquorice. This Hampshire Gin is only made in very small batches of around 50 bottles. It is distilled in a traditional copper pot still, a descendent of the alembic still, used to make batches of spirits, unlike the continuous distillation of large, more commercial column stills. Pot stills produce a very fine grade of spirit. The botanicals are gently crushed, mixed and macerated pure, neutral spirit to release the oils that give the gin its characteristic flavours. The spirit and macerated botanicals are then re-distilled in the pot still and only the heart of the distillate is used for the final bottling of this superb Hampshire Gin. Good enough to drink neat!
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