Spring has well and truly sprung here in the Cotswolds; the days are beginning to lengthen, the birds are twittering, and the flowers are blooming. With this in mind, we thought it was the perfect time to release our beautifully vibrant No.1 Wildflower Gin - the first in our wildflower gin collection which takes the colourful wildflowers of the Cotswolds as its inspiration. Delicious enjoyed as a spritz with a slice of fresh orange, our uplifting gin addition bursts with floral, fruity aromas and toasts the arrival of warmer, sunnier days.
The Glorious Grasslands of the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is home to some of the rarest wildflowers in the UK, which grow on the limestone grasslands overlaying the characteristic Jurassic limestone rock that underpins the rolling hills of the Cotswolds. These limestone grasslands are significant in their floristic diversity, with up to 40 plant species per square metre, and are also an important stronghold for invertebrates including threatened species of bees and butterflies, such as the chequered-patterned Duke of Burgundy. Around this time of year, the grasslands of the Cotswolds are bursting into life with some of our most rarest and treasured wildflowers beginning to emerge, such as the magnificent Pasque Flower with its purple bell-like flowers, the elegant Early Purple Orchid, and the delicate Cotswolds Penny-cress.
Just 80 years ago, 40% of our AONB was covered in limestone grasslands, but sadly the vast majority have disappeared as a result of agricultural expansion, the widespread use of fertilisers and the removal of hedges and walls. This type of habitat now covers less than 1.5% of the Cotswolds, which consequently poses a real threat to our unique flora and fauna. Fortunately, several groups are working together to try and conserve our all-important grasslands, including The National Trust, Natural England and the Wildlife Trusts to name but a few.
The Cotswolds Conservation Board has recently launched a ‘Glorious Cotswolds Grasslands’ project which aims ‘to create the largest network of wildflower rich limestone grassland in the country – around 100 hectares in total, over three years.’ If you’d like to get involved in the project and help restore our once-glorious grasslands there are many volunteering opportunities which can be found online, from seed harvesting to helping out with botanical surveys.
Inside the Bottle
Inspired by these wildflower-rich grasslands, we set out to create a floral gin which captures the essence of wildflowers in full bloom. Our No.1 Wildflower Gin is a delightful blend of cornflower, lavender, rhubarb root and orange essences layered over a classic London Dry gin featuring juniper, coriander and angelica. Fresh, floral and fruity with a pleasantly dry finish, our No.1 Wildflower Gin delivers notes of soft piney juniper interlaced with subtle hints of lavender and zesty orange, and has a lingering aftertaste of bitter-sweet marmalade. With the launch of our No.1 Wildflower Gin, we will be making a donation to the 'Glorious Cotswolds Grasslands' project to help recreate this very special habitat.
Wildflower Gin Spritz
Created for long and relaxing drinking occasions. Distinctly floral with pleasantly bittersweet orange citrus, this refreshing & sophisticated serve is perfect for summer drinking.
50ml Cotswolds No.1 Wildflower Gin
Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water or preferred mixer
Orange (to garnish)
Fill a copa glass with ice. Pour in the gin and top up with tonic or your favourite mixer. Garnish with a slice of orange. Sit back, relax & enjoy!