Acorns handpicked from the floor of Sherwood Forest are the special ingredient providing a unique twist to a new gin being distilled in Nottinghamshire.
Castle Gate Gin is being made by the family which runs Weavers of Nottingham, the independent wine and spirit merchants on the street of the same name.
It’s the latest local addition to a growing market driven by a surge in demand for the spirit.
Britons are now buying more than 40 million bottles each year, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association – the equivalent to more than one billion gin and tonics.
And Nottingham – much like the rest of the UK – has witnessed a renaissance in the juniper berries-based spirit, with specialised gin bars jostling for position alongside the household brands.
Castle Gate was inspired by Robin Hood and the spirit of Nottingham, says Mary Trease, sales director and wine buyer at Weavers.
She said: “We’ve always wanted to do something for Nottingham, people are always asking, so with the growth of gin we thought we should do something.
“We suddenly thought ‘the spirit of Nottingham’. Then it was trying to think out what was Nottingham, we were batting around quite a few ideas and then of course with Robin Hood, the Castle and Sherwood Forest we thought acorns.”
The acorns are part of unique style that includes juniper berries, citrus infusions, orris root, coriander, cardamom and angelica.
After the acorns are collected they are dried, peeled and finely ground before being added to other botanicals for the start of the distilling process.
Mary added: “I snuck up to Sherwood Forest with my husband, daughter and the dogs and dug around for the right tree, so they weren’t rotten or had worm holes, we found a cluster and picked the right acorns.”