20 Mar Karl and Lindsay Bond along with daughter Hattie, seven, pick berries and botanicals to make their special brew at their distillery
A gin brewed using ingredients foraged from the woods is going down a treat with discerning drinkers.
Husband and wife team Karl and Lindsay Bond are drinking in the success of their new Forest Gin, which they produce in small batches from a distillery at their home in Langley. near Macclesfield.
The couple have even drafted in the help of their young daughter and chief forager Hattie, seven, who helps search for berries and botanicals in Macclesfield Forest which give the gin its distinct flavour.
Karl, 37, who trades IT products, said: “I started making the gin as a hobby and it’s gone absolutely mental.
“We’re both gin drinkers and wanted to make something special.
“We started working with some old gin recipes but it wasn’t until we started adding ingredients from the forest that we knew we were onto something. Hattie is the boss and leads foraging missions into the forest.
“She knows the best spots for juicy bilberries and ripe raspberries. There is such an array of berries, mosses and flowers on our doorstep.”
The Bonds’ homemade tipple has gone down so well with gin connoisseurs, it is now stocked in high end shops including Harvey Nichols and found behind bars across Cheshire, with RedWillow Bar in Macclesfield hosting an exclusive Forest Gin launch night.
While the exact recipe is top secret, we can reveal the gin is made from six traditional gin ingredients such as juniper and coriander seeds, with around 10 botanicals taken as much as possible from the forest.
This mix is added to organic grain spirit and distilled through the family’s copper condenser, before water from a spring at the Stanley Arms pub is added.
The gin is kept a stoneware bottle which protects it from sunlight and temperature, screen-printed by hand with a design which features a weasel – an animal which can be spotted in the forest – by papercut artist Suzy Taylor.
Karl said: “The gin is packed with flavour so is best simply in a wide glass with a really good tonic so the fresh taste of the forest comes through.
“ Macclesfield Forest is a beautiful place and we’re so proud of our gin.”
Visit forestgin.com for more details.