The 350th anniversary of racing at Newmarket has been celebrated with the birth of a new artisan gin, distilled in Newmarket by Master Distiller, Dr. John Walters, of the English Spirit Distillery.
Originally produced for the luxury Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa in Newmarket, The Newmarket Gin is handcrafted from local botanicals, including juniper, coriander, and Seville oranges, as well as locally sourced wild chives, Devil’s Dyke orchid petals and alfalfa that is fed to Newmarket’s thoroughbred racehorses.
John Walters, Master Distiller, explained the process of bottling the botanicals: “We started by looking at the very best in the marketplace and identified areas where we could massively improve the offering. Taking the classic botanical juniper, we add a citrus surround to create a deliciously complex finish.
Our greatest challenge was looking at the wonderful local offering and incorporating this into the product to create a truly Newmarket Gin.”
Nicknamed ‘The Squires Reserve’ after Captain George Baird, the original Squire of dubious reputation who once lived in and trained at the Bedford Lodge Stables, the gin’s English pedigree is reflected in its distinctive bottle design, inspired by the glory and ceremony of racing at Newmarket, coupled with the 1800’s photographic study of the running horse from pioneering English photographer Eadweard Muybridge.
The bottle is frosted and incorporates a binocular window on images of a racehorse storming to victory in one of the ‘Classics’ races at Newmarket. Every tiny detail of the bottle design has been meticulously considered by London based design agency Nude Brand Creation, including the refraction of light through the liquid and glass, giving the thoroughbred images a sense of dimension and movement.
Each numbered bottle is sealed with a real wooden stopper and sports a handmade leather collar in historic Newmarket Tan by the local firm Gibson’s Saddlers, with stitch detail and metal buttons to echo leather riding tackle which is then finished with a ribbon tag in the Newmarket stripe and labelled in a style reminiscent of a vintage betting slip. The Master Distiller’s signature is featured on the base of the bottle.
Mike Kean, Owner of Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, said: “This beautifully crafted gin, with its unique warmth and smooth flavour, is the perfect tribute to the historic town of Newmarket, steeped in the excitement and victory of the racecourse. It’s a purebred among new gins and will complement the collections and tastes of gin enthusiasts everywhere.”
The Newmarket Gin is available from Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, and from Corney and Barrow in Newmarket, in two small-batch lines. There are 350 Anniversary Newmarket Gin bottles, each with a rrp of £85; and a further 250 limited edition ‘Squires Reserve’ Original Newmarket Gin bottles with a rrp of £70 each. Gift boxes including the 350 Anniversary Newmarket Gin and two Darlington crystal tumblers are available for £150 each.