Seed to sip
It’s no secret. Not any more. There’s a new gin on the Edinburgh scene: pear blossom and lime from one of this writer’s favourite distilleries, The Secret Garden .
The concept behind the distillery is to combine herbology with the drinks industry. The idea of “seed to sip” is a running theme – take, for example, the fact that there are more than 600 varieties of botanicals in the garden. These are all grown naturally, as Daniel Cunningham, head of sales at The Secret Garden, is keen to point out. “There are no chemicals in the growing process, just sun, seeds and soil,” he says, before pausing. “And showers, as you can see,” smiling slightly and raising an arm to The Pear Tree ’ s window (we’ll come to the choice of location in a sec). Only 70% of the botanicals are harvested, which is all done by hand. “We’re trying to promote a healthy biodiversity,” says Daniel. By foraging too much, it would deprive insects, bees and other wildlife of their habitat, which, ultimately, would be counterintuitive. “This is our way of giving back, you know? As gardeners, we take a lot from the earth, so it’s really important to find that balance.” The botanicals are then dried slowly to lock in the flavours. Once ready, about 12 hours later, it’s ready to distil – nothing artificial in sight. “It’s really important that what comes out is also natural,” says Daniel. And it shows in this new gin’s flavours of pear blossoms and lime, along with the thread of juniper berries, lemon peel and tropical fruit. Buy discounted tickets to Edinburgh Uncorked with Oz Clarke here Now, to The Pear Tree. Just outside the venue are two 170-year-old – you guessed it – pear trees. And The Secret Garden has harvested blossoms from these trees to create their gin, launched just in time for summer (we do use that word lightly though!). The Pear Tree serves a single shot with lime juice (12.5ml), elderflower syrup (12.5ml) and 75ml of soda (this’ll be in May only, just so you know – the limited-edition gin is available online otherwise ). But how you drink it is entirely up to you. All we can say is, if you’re a gin fan, it’s a must. The Secret Garden Distillery 0131 285 6833 firstname.lastname@example.org secretgardendistillery.co.uk 30A Old Pentland Road, Damhead, Lothianburn, EH10 7EA Opening hours Monday to Sunday: 10am to 4pm