Have you tasted Sidmouth Gin?
PUBLISHED: 12:15 11 September 2017
A shopkeeper has bottled the spirit of the Sid Valley as a unique memento for holidaymakers and residents alike.
The Dairy Shop owner John Hammond has launched Sidmouth Gin, using allotment-grown rhubarb for one version and sweet seaweed picked by from the beach by town business Ebb Tides for the other.
He teamed up with a mobile distillery to create them and hopes the next batch will create more of a spectacle with an event at the Anchor Inn.
“People’s reactions as they see the bottles in the window have been really fun to watch,” said dad-of-two John, who owns the Church Street shop with wife Kirsty.
“The sales have been really good so far.
“When we first started at the shop we were looking round a food fair and bumped into a chap with a mobile distillery. I thought, why not do a Sidmouth gin?
“I tasted a gin from Edinburgh that uses seaweed and we already have a supplier.
“We’re really pleased with the flavour. People have been saying it’s really refreshing.
“When you buy fudge it’s often not made here, but with the gin you can take a piece of Sidmouth back with you.”
John hopes to add a honey, orange and lavender variety to the next batch, which should be distilled and bottled within a single day.
That side will be handled by Devon Distillery’s Cosmo Caddy and his Still on the Move.
He said: “We had done one experiment with a different type of seaweed but this was certainly the first time with this type of seaweed and it imparted a very lovely flavour, slightly salty, a great reflection of the sea.
“It was also definitely the first time using rhubarb!”
Ebb Tides owner Tony Coulson said seaweed there are varieties like sugar kelp that have a sweet, maritime taste.
He has a licence from the Crown Estate to harvest seaweed on a seven-mile stretch of the beach.
The gin’s label – featuring an upside-down plane with the words ‘fly responsibly’ – was designed by Sidmouth’s former curate, Mark Barrett.