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The elder tree is one of the most sacred things that grow on the British Isles, steeped in mystery and folklore and worshipped by our ancestors since we first arrived on these shores. Jasmine is renowned in Eastern history thanks to its unmatchable fragrance; its beguiling scent is synonymous with desire. To match these noblest of plants, the team distilled hand-harvested elderflower and jasmine and blended them over their crisp dry base, carefully balancing the delicate floral aromas creating a fragrant gin with hints of exotic fruits.
Husband and wife Hamish and Liberty Martin purchased a derelict plot of land at the foot of the Pentland Hills on the outskirts of Edinburgh in 2011. Over the next decade, the couple transformed the unloved space into a beautiful garden space, which is home to hundreds of herbs, flowers and plants as well as a distillery, shop, cafe and educational space. These botanicals feature in the range of Secret Garden Gins, hand-harvested and dried on site to create all-natural ingredients, with no added sugar, artificial colourings, flavourings or additives… just nature distilled. The coloured gins are created with natural petal infusion, which also helps to intensify the natural flavour.
Flavoured Gins vary in flavour and colour. Often the gin will be infused with a flavour post-distillation through maceration or even the addition and blending of individual distillates or essences. Sometimes the gin will be created in one distillation. These styles of gin often have a key flavour which tends to lead the flavour profile, such as fresh berry fruit, citrus or any number of possible key botanicals and flavours. Although this gin style should still include juniper, it is often not the leading botanical.
All production, including distilling, blending, bottling and labelling takes place on-site at the distillery, which is located in the rolling green landscape of the Lothianburn on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Flowers, herbs and plants are grown, hand-picked and dried by a team of dedicated gardeners led by owner and herbologist Hamish Martin. The distillery itself can be found in a repurposed outbuilding that houses the custom-built copper pot still and a vast array of dried flowers and botanicals. With over one thousand juniper bushes now planted, the distillery will soon be entirely self-sufficient on the gardens for all its botanicals.