The Heart of Suffolk
The Heart of Suffolk Distillery is a small family-run business that skilfully and lovingly produces handcrafted, artisan London Dry style gins that capture the spirit of Suffolk. It was formed by Martyn and Karen Luke in February 2018 and is based near Stowmarket, Suffolk. There are three gins in the family – Betty, Ivy and Rosie – and they are distilled in small batches of approximately 70 bottles a time with each beautifully designed bottle being filled and labelled by hand. Each label bears the hand-written signature of the master distiller and the batch number.
Some time ago there were no indigenous gins in Norfolk, then Norfolk Gin appeared in 2015 and spearheaded the growth of the local gin industry. Run now and from the outset by husband and wife team, Jonathan and Alison Redding, it grew quickly from a few bottles a week to 10,000 or so a year. The bottle has changed over time yet the bathtub gin has always been produced in exactly the same way, with copious botanicals including cardamom, and made slowly to the sound of great music. The beautiful Wade bottles are refilled at a number of sites and the pubs hand them back for reuse. Enjoy!
Produced by husband and wife team, Lindi and Shaun Hancke in Wymondham, there are two gins, created in a stainless steel still called Dromedaris, in this family: Vryheid (which means freedom in Afrikaans), a full-bodied rounded craft gin created with Norfolk poppy and elderflower, and Heart of Oak, an all season oak rested London dry gin. The couple, who moved to Britain from South Africa in 2007, began producing in 2018 and have won several prestigious awards.
The Walnut Tree Distillery
This is a one-man, one-woman team located in the beautiful Wensum Valley in Norfolk; one small part of a family run dairy farm. The small still distillation means they produce a maximum of 80 bottles in any single batch of gin, all of which are then filled and labelled by hand to produce a truly exclusive product. The inspiration for the gins comes from the surrounding countryside and its seasons, and with spring water from the farm well. There are currently five gins in the gin family – a dry gin, a pink gin, a rose gin, a spiced gin and a sloe gin – all ready to be sampled!
Despite the vivid neon blue colour of this cocktail, reminiscent of a bad 1980s mix, the orange flavour of the blue curacao combines with the cardamom rich Norfolk Gin to produce a tasty long drink, much more subtle and sophisticated than its colour would suggest. If the colour really bothers you swap triple sec for the curacao.
10 to 15 ml of Blue Curaçao or triple sec, depending on your colour preference
Pour your gin into a highball filled with crushed ice.
Add the lemon juice.
Top with soda water leaving space for the curacao.
Drizzle the blue curacao over the top.
Garnish: a slice of orange and a small paper umbrella if you are feeling nostalgic for the 80s