A FAMILY-run farm in Fife has just won a contract to supply a supermarket – not with eggs, fruit, vegetables or meat – but with gin.
Edinburgh Gin, which is produced in small batches by a family-run company, has won a contract to supply Waitrose’s Scottish stores.
Distilled by the Spencerfield Spirit Company using the finest Scottish botanicals, the fine gin is already proving a hit with Waitrose customers.
A tasting held in Waitrose’s Morningside store last weekend saw customers snapping up bottles of the gin.
Set up by the former marketing director of Glenmorangie, Alex Nicol and his wife, Jane, Spencerfield Spirits had already made a name for themselves with two whiskies – Sheep Dip a malt whisky and Pig’s Nose a blended whisky.
Edinburgh Gin was first introduced in June 2010 when the couple set out to produce a Scottish gin that was literally world-class.
The company’s first gin has been so well received that a new gin raspberry infusion – made with Perthshire raspberries – has just been introduced.
Although they are surrounded by fields of barley and have a menagerie of pets, whisky and gin are now the only products that the company send to market.
However, the Spencerfield Farm estate has a long and proud heritage of distilling fine spirits.
Said a spokesperson: “It was originally farmed by James Anderson in the 1700’s, who supplied spirit to London which ironically was redistilled into gin. However, legislation was passed disallowing the importation of spirits and this destroyed his business. Anderson then set sail for a new life in Virginia where he worked for George Washington, helped to build Mount Vernon distillery and designed a Pot Still (now a national monument) similar to those used back on the farm in Scotland.”
All aspects of the business are managed by the couple, who work with a small team including master-blender, Richard Paterson, the only third-generation whisky blender working today.
Alex and Jane won the contract to supply Waitrose following a chance meeting with Billy Howie, Retail manager at Waitrose Morningside, at The Taste of Edinburgh festival in July. He tasted the Edinburgh Gin, loved it and recommended it to the Waitrose Local and Regional sourcing team.
Herchelle Perez-Terrado, Waitrose spirits buyer, said: “We’re always on the look-out for food and drink that’s produced by people who are clearly devoted to their craft, determined to use the finest local ingredients and driven to make something that’s unique. Alex and Jane’s company typifies this approach and we’re delighted to be working with them.”
The company already sells around the world and through delicatessens and farm shops in the UK, as well as direct to aficionados through their online shop. Waitrose is the only supermarket they supply.
Alex Nicol explains why: “We’ve always been proud of producing small batches of spirits that are appreciated by aficionados. I’ve worked for many years in the industry and I don’t want to compromise quality for quantity but Waitrose allows us to supply a small number of stores yet reach a wider audience of customers who we know are interested in good food – and presumably great drinks to complement it if our tastings last weekend are anything to judge by.”
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Notes to editors
- Edinburgh Gin is now available in all four Waitrose Scottish stores, priced £25.00 for 700ml.
- For more information about Spencerfield Spirit Company visit their website – www.spencerfieldspirit.com
- Waitrose is Britain’s favourite supermarket according to the Which? Annual Supermarket Satisfaction Survey 2011.
- Suppliers and producers interested in supplying Waitrose need to meet the requirements of the Small Producers Charter. See the website for more information.
Christmas Cocktail recipe using Edinburgh Gin [IMAGE available]
A great Christmas cocktail using Edinburgh Gin is Santa Nicol’s Gin-ger Eggnog, created by award winning Mixologist, Jamie MacDonald of The Raconteur Bar, Edinburgh. This warming combination of ginger, cream and nutmeg will put you right in the mood for a few rounds of Silent Night.
35ml Edinburgh Gin
20ml Kings Ginger
three barspoon sugar
10ml Appleton Estate VX
one whole egg
Dry shake and then shake with handcracked ice. Serve in a goblet with grated nutmeg.
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