Discover Our Gin Club - July's Gin

Discover Our Gin Club - July's Gin

As you may know, here at the Secret Garden, we have the largest cultivation of the Apothecary Rose in the UK but what you might not know is that we also have a couple of flower beds given over totally to the Damask Rose. This is an ancient Rose and a mix of the Apothecary Rose, her mother, and her father Rosa Moschata. The French Crusader Robert de Brie, who took part in the Seige of Damascus in 1148, is credited for bringing the Damask rose from Europe and the UK. The name of the rose refers to the city of Damascus in Syria.

The reason why we planted the Damask was for four reasons; firstly I didn’t want the Apothecary Rose to be on her own, secondly, it is the direct daughter of the Apothecary, thirdly, the flowers are a stunning pale pink and make a lovely comparison to the deep pink of the Apothecary and finally, the scent is heavenly.

We only have a small amount of these petals which are collected in June, the last weeks of June and early July are a stunning time to visit the garden as the roses are in full bloom then and the air is filled with their sweet perfume. You will notice these same amazing aromas in this months gin, it is so pure and clean, it is a remarkable resemblance to smelling the rose in its full bloom state.

We decided to pair this with a little Jasmine to complement and enhance the Damask Rose flavour. Again, the Jasmine is an ancient flower, which goes so far back there is no known origin, it is thought to be central Asia with first writings found in China around the 3rd century BC and eventually found its way into the UK gardens about the 14th century.

The Jasmine in our garden is in full bloom now and will remain so for the next month – we have two huge arches of Jasmin within our glasshouse and their scent is intoxicating. We harvest the flowers in full bloom and then we create a distilled water made from the fresh flowers to capture the real living essence of the perfume – this is very concentrated so we only add a very little of this distillate to the gin at the end of the production of the damask rose. It lifts the gin into an ethereal realm with dizzy floral aromas and an incredible length of flavour – this is summer in a glass – just as in our garden we use absolutely no chemicals, so too is our gin, made with no chemicals, flavourings, colourings, sugars – just Rooted in Nature.