Bath Gin has been launched at the city's Canary bar, mixing the 'naughty' spirit of Jane Austen with a combination of botanicals after hours of tasting at its inventor's dining table.
The drink was put together by Peter Meacock, the owner of the gin bar, with with the help of cocktail expert Tim Whelehan.
“We always had the idea that it would be good fun to make a gin,” said Mr Meacock. “I found a gin with a single botanical in it - juniper - which meant I could add other botanicals to it. I set out lots of ingredients on my dining room table and we set about experimenting with various combinations of botanicals.”
Distilled in London but sold at the bar in Bath, the gin features a winking Jane Austen - and Mr Meacock hopes to move production to Bath.
After several attempts - and a lot of gin drinking - they settled on a blend of 10 different flavours including not only juniper, but also citrus peel, cassia bark, culeb berries, kaffia leaf and wormwood.
“It’s the kaffia leaf and the wormwood which make it a bit different,” explained Mr Meacock. “Kaffia is not only used in a lot of Thai cookery, but it is also used to flavour rum made in the Indian Ocean and wormwood is the base botanical in absinthe.
“The result is a gin which is bright and fruity and citrussy and fresh - it’s a canary-like flavour. We set out wanting to create a gin that was great in a gin and tonic, or in a martini, or as a mixer. There are lots of gins that are good for one, but not necessarily all.
“We recommend the Bath Gin served with tonic and a kaffia leaf soaked in lemon juice, and we’ll also be using it in most of our cocktails.”
There are only 1,000 bottles of the Bath Gin, all branded with a picture of a winking Jane Austen.
“In most pictures Jane Austen looks quite severe,” said Mr Meacock. “And she has this image of being not necessarily prim and proper, but very correct.
“Actually, she was quite a naughty girl. She liked her young men and she liked her gin and we wanted to show that side of her.”