Fishers Original: G&T Perfection - A Distiller's Introduction
Ben Bewley-Pope, Fishers Gin Distiller
The origin of Fishers Original is one born out of love of this very special area. Aldeburgh is situated in a unique triangle of habitats; A seaside town with a rich fishing history, the River Alde to the south and west, all surrounded by heathland and low lying salt marshes. The reason for the existence of Fishers Gin as a company, and specifically Fishers Original is to bottle the essence of this very special area.
The Fishers Triangle: The River, The Marshes & The Beach
Seeking the knowledge and experience of James Firth, an Oxford graduate in Botany, and John McCarthy, Gin Distiller at Adnams, the botanicals that are unique to Fishers Original and this area were decided upon and found; Bog Myrtle, Rock and Marsh Samphire and Sea Purslane, which are all available in abundance for us to forage along the River Alde, and Spignel and Wood Avens, both of which we grow at New England Farm, a ten minute drive, or thirty minute sail, from the Distillery. The reason we grow the latter two is because we require their roots, and it is unsustainable for us to forage for them. All are native coastal plants and all offer and bring different flavours and aromas to Fishers Original.
The design of the pattern on the bottle is inspired deeply by Aldeburgh and its fishing industry. The goal was to elaborate on a net pattern of blue and orange (the colours of the nets used by the fishermen in Aldeburgh) with gold added to represent the chances of finding a piece of Amber on the beach.
The Fishers Bottle; encapsulating Aldeburgh's fishing community
The Distillation Process
Fishers Original (along with all of our gins) is made in the London Dry method. This traditional way of crafting a gin is the purest way of expressing the flavours of this area. We use the cleanest ethanol available, the best hand-picked botanicals, either foraged or grown by us, and then after distillation nothing more is added other than man's most essential element on earth…H2O. This (in a slightly simplified form) is the definition of London Dry, follow these steps and you can label your gin as such. Although there is nothing wrong with gin distilled in other methods, many of which you will find in your local supermarket, these will likely have essences or, in the case of pink gins, colouring added after the distillation process is complete.
Watson, our still. Distilling gin in Aldeburgh since 2020
Many versions were made during the creation of what is now known as Fishers Original, but what most won't consider to be of high importance is the chosen ABV. At 44%, Original is a little stronger than most other gins and there is good reason for it; Original never set out to be a light, floral or overly zesty gin. This part of the England can be harsh, stark, and at times even bleak, and the botanicals found here naturally make for a herbaceous and savoury style. A higher ABV is needed to bring out the best of those flavours as well as providing a warming hit on cold winter days.
The Fishers logo; inspired by Maggi Hambling's "Scallop" sculpture
The best G&T’s are always very cold ones. Low temperature provides a refreshing experience to a drink that flavour alone cannot. Here at the Distillery we put everything we can in the freezer. We deliberately choose to serve in tin mugs as they are capable of remaining colder than glass, and for longer. Large ice cubes are also essential, bigger ice melts slower resulting in less dilution, this relative lack of dilution also keeps the tonic fizzier too. As for garnish a slice of orange is perfect; the soft, zesty sweetness it brings is a deliberate choice as it is adding something the gin itself doesn’t naturally have. All of these factors combined make for the best G&T you will ever have.
The Fishers Original & Tonic Serve
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