Have you tasted Sidmouth Gin?

PUBLISHED: 12:15 11 September 2017

John Hammond with his Sidmouth Gin

John Hammond with his Sidmouth Gin

Archant

A shopkeeper has bottled the spirit of the Sid Valley as a unique memento for holidaymakers and residents alike.

Cosmo Caddy's mobile distillery, Still on the MoveCosmo Caddy's mobile distillery, Still on the Move

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.

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