Darnley's Gin & Our Foraging Future
A Novice Forager
In the last couple of years I have begun to forage. Nothing too sophisticated; mainly mushrooms and some wild garlic, but it has opened my eyes to the endless possibilities nature provides on our doorsteps. And then it got me thinking what we might do with foraged plants for Darnley’s Gin.
Leanne of Wild Food Stories
Clearly, my knowledge was limited and to make this a serious proposition we needed some much-needed guidance. Instagram was the obvious place to begin my hunt for such expertise. After searching under various Hashtags, I tumbled upon Wild Food Stories. This the brainchild of Leanne Townsend from Aberdeenshire, and for anyone with the remotest interest in foraging I strongly recommend following her.
It has given me creative inspiration, not just for how to garnish Darnley’s Gin at home, but also in the kitchen too. I am slowly driving my wife mad.
Darnley’s Gin & Wild Food Stories
I am delighted to announce, therefore, that Leanne has accepted the opportunity to consult to Darnley’s Gin in terms of how we might better use our natural environment in the East Neuk of Fife. The more local the better. This is hugely exciting, so keep your eyes peeled on our social media feeds over the next few months as we develop foraged serves and new recipes.
Part of the plan with Leanne is she will also help us document as wide a range as possible of local botanicals for us to use. What we are hoping to call the botanical bible of the East Neuk. Two years or so ago, we started the Cottage Series that sought to distil only local Fife botanicals; Leanne’s expertise will now give us access to a wider range of plants to make ever more interesting and delicious gins.
Her expertise has already opened my distilling colleague Scott’s eyes to the wide range of botanic possibilities on our doorstep. The first result of this collaboration in terms of a new gin will be in June with the release of a Cottage Series limited edition to celebrate World Gin Day.
As we look to extend this partnership with Leanne, we are beginning to think of other ways her expertise can help Darnley’s Gin. As our East Neuk botanical bible expands, we are hoping to be able to grow a small selection of some of these plants in our very own Gin Garden, adjacent to our Gin Cottage where we distil. The close proximity will potentially allow us to use the produce of our Gin Garden in our consumer tours, as well as in the Gin School itself. An engaging and fun botanical experience for our trade partners is being developed as well.
As these ideas develop and evolve, we will announce them on our social media channels. I hope you are excited about this partnership as I am; please do offer feedback via our website or on our social media channels.
William Wemyss, Founder, Darnley's Gin