I was delighted to meet Howard and Kerrie from the Smith and Weston Drinks Company. They had expressed an interest in sponsoring an installation for the second Christchurch Flower Festival, Flower Fest19 so we arranged to meet back in the Autumn of 2018.
We spoke about the festival generally and discussed floral design ideas. They spoke passionately about the Gin Liqueurs they produced and their use of foraged fruits including blossoms such as Elderflower and Lavender. After more brainstorming, I thought how great it would be to be able to produce a Gin Liqueur specifically for Flower Fest19. I was delighted when the Smith and Weston team agreed to produce something new and try out some new flavours which included a floral element.
Key to the Gin Liqueurs they produce is the sourcing of the finest local produce, so when they considered the idea of combining Blueberries and Lavender, they set about sourcing the best. Their search led them to a small holding just outside of Wimborne run by the Benson Brothers, Dan and Josh. Together they run Trehane Blueberry PYO. The Blueberries they produce have a great history. Originally the bushes were planted in 1964 by the late David Trehane. David was the only UK grower at that time and saw the potential for growing Blueberries commercially.
The land is now owned by Jeremy Trehane and the Blueberry business has been handed to Josh Benson who has been actively involved with all aspects of the business for 17 years. Having just been granted organic status the fruit is of exceptional quality.
Dan encouraged Kerrie to taste all of the varieties they grew as each has a distinct flavour. After tasting them all Kerrie decided to experiment with two varieties of blueberry known as Herbert and Ivanhoe. Both were unique and offered different qualities when infused with the Gin. It made the decision in choosing one difficult, so they decided to combine the two, and what a combination. The sweetness and colour the two berries offer when mixed is beautiful. Smith and Weston initially intend to produce a limited run of about 100 bottles for the festival and are excited to see how the unique flavour will be received.
From each bottle sold we S & W will donate £2.50 to FlowerFest19 nominated charity Macmillan Caring Locally.
Smith & Weston were delighted to be attend Purewell Vegan evening on the 12th June along with bottles being on sale at The Captain’s Club, Kings Arms Hotel and throughout FlowerFest19 weekend.
With the first batch of FF19 gin liqueur being sold out S&W are busy producing more for us. We welcome your flavour comments!...Glenda