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Entering the Gin Dimension - An Immersive experience with The Old Curiosity Distillery.
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The Old Curiosity Distillery
32A Old Pentland Road,
EH10 7EA
Instagram: @oldcuriosityOpening Hours: Mon-Sun 10am – 4pm (opening hours for The Secret Herb Garden)

Twas a cold and blustery evening when I first experienced The Secret Herb Garden’s gin cabin. 

Entering a magical gin dimension with the help of The Old Curiosity distillery, the cockles of my heart were warmed by gorgeous aromas of locally grown herbs and surroundings that reminded me springtime is just around the corner.

I was there for an evening to explore the botanical range of Old Curiosity gin, produced onsite. So local, I was dining next to the copper gin still and could peek through the vintage glass window to see the next batch distilling. We started with a delicious ‘Bees Knees’ cocktail: Old Curiosity Lavender and Echinacea Gin, Lavender infused honey, Green apple shrub & Pignolleto sparkling wine – just the thing to take the edge off a winter chill.

A night of gin alone would be foolish, so we were lucky enough to savour an exemplary three course meal provided by the always-reliable Edinburgh School of Food and Wine with further cocktails. Belly full, we heard from owner and botanist Hamish Martin who explained his journey into the world of plants and consequently boutique gin production. His partner in life and business, Liberty, had transformed what was once a bare ‘business centre’ into an atmospheric idyll.

I first visited The Secret Herb Garden two summers ago, looking for unusual herbs for my allotment (I recommend the chocolate mint) and was impressed to see them setting up for a vintage-themed wedding reception in the large greenhouse. "What a beautiful idea” I thought at the time, "I must return”. So I was excited to recently have the opportunity to sample their spirits onsite. As well as growing herbs and hosting intimate bespoke events, The Secret Herb Garden diversified in October 2017 to install their very own shiny gin still and will soon offer tours.

I thought their Apothecary Rose gin might be overtly floral, but the botanicals are well-balanced so as to not overpower the palate. Tonic water complements the rose gin magically so that your drink transforms before your eyes into a gorgeous pink hue as the effervescent water is added.
The colour changing Old Curiosity Gin range comprises Chamomile & Cornflower, Lavender & Echinacea and Apothecary Rose: it’s stocked in John Lewis, Harvey Nichols, Majestic and available on The Secret Herb Garden’s website. 

A perfect local gift for the gin lover in your life… Or treat yourself to the taste of nature.

(T. Griffen) 


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