Physic Gin, whichcarries the exclusive University of Oxford branding, has been distilled from barley grains grown by medieval farmers and is flavoured with 25 different botanicals that were first planted after the garden was founded in 1621.
"This gin is medicinal in a good way. Botanicals like wormwood, rue and sweet woodruff bring a deeply complex flavour to bear and take us back to the time when plants formed the base of all medicine," said Cory Mason, master distiller at the Oxford Artisan Distillery, which has created the new gin for the university.
It is believed to be the first time a university has gone into the commercial spirits business. A 500 ml bottle will be solad at around 34.95 pounds.
Professor Simon Hiscock, the director of the Botanic Garden, said a majority of the plants used are on an original list drawn by Jacob Bobart, the first keeper of the garden, who had published a catalogue in 1648 of the 1,600 plants in it.
"We don't really have the capacity to grow enough juniper berries on the scale required. But the majority of the plants are on the original list drawn up by Bobart," Hiscock said.
Physic Gin has been distilled from ancient populations of grain grown exclusively forthe Oxford Artisan Distilleryin fields close to Oxford as part of a "grain to glass" provenance.
The grain is farmed sustainably in ways once common in medieval times, contributing to biodiversity and soil health in the English countryside.
"It makes perfect sense for Oxford Botanic Garden to align itself with Oxford's first distillery. I'm looking forward to making spirits inspired by our historical collections and having some botanical fun along the way,"Hiscock added.
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