Secret Herb Garden- Old Curiosity
Updated: Jun 24, 2020
Let's rewind to mid December. We had just returned from a trip to Vienna, a perfect long weekend away. We started discussing where our next trip away should be as we had time off booked for Ivan's birthday at the end of January. We both decided that Edinburgh would be perfect. We both love the city, it's full of culture and history, not to mention the countless amount of bars.
I suggested we make a few visits to local distilleries and Ivan said he would take care of it. He came back to me with a plan to visit Old Curiosity's Secret Herb Garden. I was thrilled at the chance to visit.
Once we arrived at the Secret Herb Garden it was hard to imagine we were only a short taxi ride away from the centre of Edinburgh.
We walked into the Café and found all locally produced goodies. Hamish came to find us and took us on a tour of his magical garden.
He told us he had always been into plants and gardening. Using plant tinctures as medicine.
Most gin companies use Butterfly Pea Tea as the colour changing botanical however Old Curiosity is different. It was by accident that Hamish discovered his gin was colour changing. They all go to pretty pink hues when tonic water is added.
All the botanicals used in the gins are sourced from the Secret Herb Garden. We saw everything from Juniper bushes to Figs. They had large green houses were they grow the flowers/herbs. A huge Rose garden is in the process of being grown. No pesticides, artificial lights are used on site.
I can only imagine how fabulous it would all look in the summer months.
Once we walked around the Secret Herb Garden Hamish showed us the drying room. All the flowers are dried here and eventually make their way to being used in the gin. What I fell in love with is how they are stored. In large Tupperware boxes. All the colours look so pretty stacked up next to one another.
When we walked into the distilling room one of the shelfs had collapsed. The strong smell of damask rose was beautiful. Unfortunately the rose distillate was compromised. The botanicals are distilled with water to create the floral distillates. Everything is sourced from the Secret Herb Garden apart from the base spirit however they are working on changing that very soon.
The fun started when we got to try the range. Hamish stood behind the bar pouring us gin and tonics. He told us how they lived in a makeshift cabin on site with his wife, four children and dog. While their house was being built. How he would make gins for him and his wife to drink at home and how she encouraged him to take it onto the next level and launch it to the public. Old Curiosity Gins have proven to be a success with it being sold in places like Harvey Nichols, John Lewis and 31Dover to name a few.
Old Curiosity are launching a monthly subscription service which will see them have fun with playing around with small batch craft gins.
I was amazed at how truly passionate Hamish is about his brand and how he wants to grow it. I have no doubt it will go strength to strength.
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