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.