The taste of heaven

Newton House is a beautiful historic Jacobean Manor, which formed the centrepiece of what was once a large estate known as Newton Surmaville. Robert Harbin, a local merchant, built Newton House between 1608 and 1612 and successive generations of the family enjoyed the property for 399 years, until it was sold for the first time to Robin and Jane Cannon in 2007. Both the house and gardens were in a state of decay, so Robin and Jane embarked on a huge renovation project, which has lasted for 10 years.

Robin has always had a great passion for gin and has a collection of several hundred different gins, both new and vintage. Yet, feeling there was scope for more variety the Cannons decided to produce their own gin.

Newton House Gin is a small batch, hand-crafted gin. The gin was originally created in ‘Hermione’, a 10-litre copper still, before ‘Henrietta’, a 60-litre copper still, took over. After much trial and error the unique recipe was finally agreed and Newton House Gin was born. The gin is made from English-produced grain spirit and 12 botanicals, some of which are grown in the walled garden. The process is completed using spring water from the estate, which has flowed gently from the hills surrounding the house for centuries.

The gin distillery is located in the Old Dairy at Newton House, where the scent of drying citrus fills the air, conjuring images of G&Ts and wonderful cocktails decorated with edible flowers from the garden.

Robin is the resident master distiller, chief bottler and corker, ensuring the consistency of each distillation. Meanwhile, Jane is responsible for the precision labelling, decoration and packing each bottle of the delicious libation.

All the hard graft and early mornings firing up the still have been worth it. The delicious gin evokes lazy, hot summer afternoons in the grounds of Newton House sipping a delicious cocktail or simply a classic G&T.

Newton House Gin is delightful – subtle on the nose and sensational in the mouth. Just add ice, a slice of lime, a bruised mint leaf or three to enliven the flavours, plus Fever-Tree Tonic Water. It’s a recipe for heaven in a glass.

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