A small batch gin that celebrates the history of racing at Newmarket was recently launched by the historic Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa, with designs by Nude Brand Creation.
The Newmarket Gin made its debut at the third annual Ginposium event in Covent Garden, organized by The Gin Guild. It was created for the hotel by Master Distiller John Walters, who runs an independent small batch copper pot distillery three miles from Newmarket. The hotel, based in Newmarket, Suffolk, was built as a hunting lodge in 1820 for the Duke of Bedford and has passed through the hands of many well-known racehorse owners since then.
The gin is distilled at 42% and contains the classic botanicals of juniper, coriander, bay leaf, Seville oranges and almonds, as well as the more unexpected wild horseradish, Devil's Dyke orchid petals, wild chives, alfalfa and assorted wildflowers, all foraged from Newmarket.
A limited edition batch of The Newmarket Gin will coincide with the 350th anniversary of racing in Newmarket. A small number of the anniversary bottles will be presented in bespoke boxes, containing a set of branded hand blown glass tumblers, which will be gifted to winners of the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas Races, as well as Her Majesty the Queen.
Bernard Gormley, co-founder of Nude, says: “Upon visiting the hotel and researching its history we began to realise just how entwined it was in the history of Newmarket’s racing and discovered numerous stories and intriguing characters that could form the basis of the product story. However, as the project developed so did ambitions for the gin and, most importantly, its distribution. Therefore, it was decided to broaden our field of vision and focus on Newmarket as the home of horse racing.”
The packaging is inspired by the Newmarket racecourse, as well as English photographer Eadweard Muybridge’s pioneering work in the study of the running horse. The frosted glass gives a tactile feel and provides a binocular window to spy the running horses on the back of the glass. The horse featured is last year’s winner of the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. As light refracts through the liquid, a sense of movement is given to the illustration, bringing it to life.
The paper label at the base of the bottle bears the signature of Master Distiller John Walters, as well as information about the crafting of the spirit, displayed in a way that is reminiscent of old horse race betting slips. The bottle is sealed with a real wooden stopper.
“The shade of leather on the leather collar is the historic Newmarket Tan, once used by traders to determine the destination of carriages during its days as a major market town,” Gormley adds. “Each collar is handmade in Newmarket by Gibson’s Saddlers, founded in the early 1900s and is now a family owned company. Gibson's supply racing colours to Her Majesty Queen. The stitch detailing and metal button echo the craft of leather riding equipment and the ribbon tag is in the Newmarket stripe used for equine blankets.”
Bedford Lodge Hotel owner Mike Kean says: “The attention to detail from Nude Brand Creation has created a truly beautiful, original and engaging design which I’m sure will captivate horse racing and gin fans alike. The design reflects the craftsmanship and locally foraged ingredients which make up this unique and premium gin.”
The Newmarket Gin will initially be sold exclusively at Bedford Lodge and the Corney & Barrow in Newmarket. The limited edition Newmarket Gin (250 bottles) will retail at £70 each; and 350 bottles of Anniversary Newmarket Gin will be released, which will retail at £85 each (75 of these will be sold in gift sets at £170).