A Six Year Journey...
Batch No.4, Macreddin Village Gin is a pure Organic Gin. It is distilled with the wild herbs, wild flowers and the wild berries that we forage and harvest here in Macreddin Village and Macreddin Woods.
Chapter One of the Six Year Journey - The Wild & Organic Strawberry Tree Restaurant has been synonymous, not just with Organic Foods but also with Wild Food Beverages such as Wild Sloe Gin, Wild Rowan Schnapps and Wild Elderflower Cordial. In the Strawberry Tree Restaurant, we have been fermenting, infusing and preserving our Wild & Organic Foods in alcohol for over thirty years now.
Chapter Two of the Six Year Journey – we purchased an Alembic Single Batch Pot Still complete with the vital basket to assist us with infusing herbs, greens or berries into the alcohol.
Chapter Three of the Six Year Journey – we spent some time infusing all kinds of herbs, greens and berries using the copper pot still. We concentrated on Juniper Berries to make a unique Macreddin Village Gin and created many different recipes with other ingredients from the Strawberry Tree’s Wild Food Pantry.
Chapter Four of the Six Year Journey – ‘Getting by with a little help from our friends’ Rod & Julie Calder-Potts from Highbank Orchard Farm have always been connected to Macreddin Village. They set up stall at our monthly markets and they are loyal suppliers. Rod & Julie had put a distillery in their new dairy house which was going to be Ireland’s smallest Licenced Still. We just had to get them involved with our Macreddin Village Gin.
Chapter Five of the Six Year Journey – we took a trip to Highbank Orchard Farm to see how things were done in the new distillery at the old dairy house. We were not disappointed! During lunch, we discussed with them the concept of producing a Macreddin Organic Gin with Macreddin Wild Ingredients and all seemed totally possible. There and then, Macreddin Village Green Gin was immaculately conceived.
Chapter Six of the Six Year Journey - we knew that we had to get down once again to testing the various Organic Botanicals and Wild Botanicals that we have here in Macreddin. Without doubt, Organic Juniper, the legal requirement for Organic Gin presented no problem whatsoever to us. So we set about checking what other herbs, greens, berries, trees or botanicals we could use to make the prefect Macreddin Gin. From Macreddin Vineyard to our Herb Garden and to our Orchards, to all of our Wild Botanicals, from Woodruff to Rowan to Elder Flower and more.
Chapter Seven of the Six Year Journey – we settled on ten ingredients that we felt tasted and scented totally of ‘Macreddin Village’ to us. Berries, Fruits, Leaves, Roots, Barks and Flowers were represented. Six of the ten ingredients were Organic and four of the ten ingredients were Wild. Now all we had to do was use the ingredients and get the balance right to create the best recipe.
Chapter Eight of the Six Year Journey – Wild Sweet Woodruff played a big part in the recipe. We needed large quantities so we decided to plant Organic Sweet Woodruff to assist us. The Wild Elderflower also played it’s part and was abundantly available here at Macreddin Village. Other elements included Wild Bilberry and Cinchona.
Chapter Nine of the Six Year Journey – after working hard and finding a recipe that we were all happy with we produced a small batch of rare Macreddin Village Gin. In total, just 196 Litres.
Chapter Ten of the Six Year Journey – we designed bottle labels with a simple design to portray the purity and ethos of our Organic and Wild Food production.
Chapter Eleven of the Six Year Journey – the bottle design was a little out of the ordinary. We wanted something to stand out and make a statement that our Macreddin Village Gin is ‘different’ and unique. The bottles are slanted in design and lean slightly to the right giving a laid back impression… exactly how we like it here at Macreddin.
Chapter Twelve of the Six Year Journey – every gin needs a garnish and we wanted to find one that wouldn’t overpower our Macreddin Village Gin. Some we tried just didn’t quite make the cut. We found the answer on our doorstep in the new Orchard when we tried a simple slice of Plum. It worked perfectly. Our next step was to find a Tonic that worked with Village Green Gin. To be honest every Tonic we tried worked perfectly with Village Green. However if we were to choose one, it would have to be Poachers Wild Tonic. Not just because Macreddin Village supply the Wild Elder Flower Cordial to Poachers for this Tonic, but because the hint of Wild Elder Flower works perfectly with Village Green Gin.
Chapter Thirteen of the Six Year Journey – We decided to also wood-mature and cask-age some of our Macreddin Village Gin so that we could perhaps use it as an Aperitif or a Digestif after maturing. We purchased small cask barrels made of different woods to see how each one would flavour our Village Green Gin. After just six months, we discovered that, while maturing; our gins changed colour and taste.