Fans of “Downton Abbey,” the popular British historical drama series and movie that has garnered multiple Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy awards, can now sip and savor a literal gin crafted from the 5,000 acres of rolling fields at Highclere Castle that serves as the main filming location.
Winner of seven prestigious gold awards with a score of 95 points, Highclere Castle Gin is crafted from ancient botanicals at Highclere Castle and is distilled in England’s oldest gin distillery.
Highclere Castle’s extravagant parties have been held in style since the 1800s, hosting many of the world’s most interesting people over gin cocktails. Highclere Castle Gin’s delicate citrus notes result from 10 botanicals that come from Highclere’s ancient estate.
The gin recipe was crafted over the course of four years together with spirits entrepreneur Adam von Gootkin and the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon (Lord and Lady Carnarvon). The premium gin can be enjoyed straight on the rocks, mixed with tonic and a lime, or in a classic martini cocktail.
“Highclere Castle Gin celebrates the fun and elegant side of Highclere Castle, and since we launched last August the reception has been tremendous,” says von Gootkin, co-founder and CEO of Highclere Castle Spirits. “Even COVID-19 couldn’t slow us down. We sold more than 100 cases last month (in Michigan).
“We also started a live virtual cocktail party in April called Cocktails at the Castle, which was hosted by Lord and Lady Carnarvon. The virtual cocktail party drew in a record number of viewers making us the largest virtual cocktail party in the world. The gin can be enjoyed in traditional and craft cocktails, but people are also enjoying it on the rocks given it’s so smooth.”
Michigan serves as “the Midwest hub” for the gin, which retails for $39.99 and is being distributed by Great Lakes Wine and Spirits in Highland Park. The liquor, packaged in a royal blue bottle with an etching of the castle, is a super-premium London Dry Gin.
“The reception we have received in Michigan has been nothing short of amazing,” says von Gootkin. “Everyone is so welcoming, and the restaurant scene throughout the state is quite spectacular. People on the restaurant and hospitality teams were so welcoming, and that’s why we decided to make Michigan our Midwest hub.”
Recovered from the Carnarvon family archives from the castle, menus and letters reference gin cocktails from the early 1900s. Enjoyed in the “Highclere Style” for over a century, the traditional method of indulgence involves a cocktail made with gin, tonic, a fresh orange squeeze and peel, and finished with a rosemary sprig from the garden.
Juniper has grown wild on the estate since the ancient Roman days. The castle archivist has discovered a reference by the 1st Earl to planting Juniper on the estate, dating April, 1811.
Highclere Castle Gin is available at:
— 160 Main: Northville
— Table 5: Northville
— Le Georges: Northville
— Flemings: Livonia and Birmingham
— Aqua: Plymouth
— Cellar 849: Plymouth
— Charlie’s Still on Main: Milford
— Milford House- Milford
— Uptown Grille: Commerce Township
— Iridescence Motor City Casino Hotel: Detroit
— Siris Restaurant & Cigar Bar: Ann Arbor
— Woods Fine Wine & Spirits: Grosse Pointe Woods
— Pilgrim Liquor Shoppe: Plymouth
— Wine Castle: Livonia
— Farmington Hills Wine & Liquor
— Buscemi’s of Northville
— Red Wagon Rochester
— Super Fine Wine & Liquor: Canton Township
— Sylvan Quality Market: Sylvan Lake
— Tippins Market, Ann Arbor
— Picnic Basket: Plymouth
— M L Spirits: Birmingham
— Holden’s Party Store: Milford
— Good Time Party Store: Northville
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