Sidmouth can now boast its own award-winning gin
- Credit: Archant
Gin is back in fashion and now Sidmouth can boast its very own award-winning brand.
John Hammond, who with his wife Kirsty, took over The Dairy Shop delicatessen a year ago, has made a flying start in the liquor business and already tasted success.
The man who studied chemistry at university has dreamed up a concoction called Seashore gin, which has just won a silver award at the Taste of the West.
Its natty logo of an upside down biplane and the slogan ‘Fly responsibly’ was dreamed up by a vicar – a friend from Sidmouth and former graphic designer who now has a church in Jersey.
John said: “You’ve got locals saying it’s ‘our gin’ – that’s when you know it’s really hit the spot.”
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And of course, the 40 per cent proof tipple, which comes in three sizes, is popular with holidaymakers.
“People want to take the taste of Sidmouth back with them and the Seashore is perfect – when you smell it you get this sort of seaside smell coming through, which is lovely,” he said.
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He makes the gin in association with Devon Distillery using local products like sea kelp seaweed harvested by Sidmouth firm Ebb Tides – the key ingredient in Seashore.
When a trial batch sold out in just a month they knew they were on to something.
The other gins they make – Rhubarb, Honey and Orange, and Pink Gooseberry – are also flying off the shelves.
The drink is stocked by two local hotels, The Salty Monk and Sidmouth Wines.
And it’s also going down a treat at Sidmouth Rugby Club (‘They go through it quite quickly’); the cricket club, the croquet club and Sailing Club are also considering taking it.
Roly’s Fudge Pantry has just started making a Sidmouth Gin Orange and Honey flavour fudge.
“I like it when things are from Sidmouth. Working with local businesses, we can offer people local products when they come in,” John said.
To make gin you use a neutral grain spirit and add juniper, angelica and iris powder and your botanicals to flavour it.
“Gin is really quite easy to make. It’s really simple to infuse it, but it’s hard to get it to taste nice,” said John.