Marmalade gin anyone?
- Credit: Nick Butcher
If Paddington had a favourite drink, we're pretty sure this would be it.
An artisan preserve producer in Norfolk is about to launch a fabulous new seasonal spirit to her collection.
Janet Peachey, who makes jams, marmalades, chutneys (and now gins and liqueurs) in Alburgh near Harleston, using local orchard and hedgerow fruits, is looking forward to the reaction to her Marmalade Gin Liqueur.
The tipple is being crafted to celebrate the marmalade season, and is produced using Janet's own gin and her Peachey's Preserves bittersweet Seville orange marmalade – all handmade in small batches.
Although known predominantly for her jams and relishes, Janet has crept into the drinks market over the last few years, and retailers are starting to sit up and take notice, with stores such as Jarrolds in Norwich, Russell and News in Bungay, Twyfords in Beccles and Reno Wines in Wymondham stocking their shelves with her fruity concoctions.
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'I started the liqueur business Peachey's Spirits way back in 2013,' says Janet. 'And I could see the market was moving forward for gin and it would strengthen my own brand if I started making it. So I had the idea in 2014, bought the still in 2015, did a course at a distillery in Bermondsey and made the product. I've been making it for about a year now.'
Janet makes sloe gin, quince brandy, redcurrant whisky, gooseberry gin, raspberry vodka, bramble rum (blackberry, apples, cinnamon and vanilla) and other delectable drinks. 'I have a lady who goes and picks berries for me. The quinces come from Beccles. And then people who have trees in their gardens gather fruit and donate it to me. I tend to give them a jar in return, or they ask for a donation to charity, so I've got this network of suppliers around me and it's sustainable. Otherwise a lot of that fruit would go to waste.'
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The base for all of Janet's gin-based drinks, including her new marmalade product, is her very own Norfolk Dry Gin, distilled using the London Dry method. 'I make it in my 30lt still – Lucky. I call it Lucky because I was lucky to find it in London when I went to a craft distilling expo, and I was lucky enough to meet someone who showed me how to use it!'
Peachey's Norfolk Dry Gin is made with classical botanicals such as juniper and cardamom, with a citrus nose from oodles of orange and lemon, and a long, sweet finish from vanilla (and a few other secret ingredients).
'It's very smooth,' Janet reveals. 'You can drink it neat and it's lovely, but if you do want a long drink, serve it with tonic water, orange and lemon slices and a sprig of coriander.'
Coming soon are also a rhubarb gin, and in the summer a blackcurrant brandy liqueur. Janet seems to have a spirit for every season!
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