One British gin gives a new meaning to the word “snifter”. “Twisted Nose Gin” is made near the cathedral city of Winchester from watercress – “nasturtium officiale”. Or, “nasus tortus” as the Romans called it.
Renowned for its peppery and mustard taste , watercress combines with local spring water And the ancient bedrock of the flat broad lands of Hampshire in south England to produce the unique small-batch premium gin.
Former software developer Paul Bowler’s Manor Factory at Old Alresford is surrounded by watercress beds. The area has been growing cress since the eighteenth century.
Alresford stages an annual watercress festival every May featuring the world watercress eating championships. “The Watercress Line” is a ten-mile heritage railway which runs to Alton.
“Winchester Distillery” also make vodka made from locally grown wasabi mushrooms.
Rainwater filters slowly through the porous chalk of the land, pooling in mineral-rich aquifers before seeping out and bubbling up to feed the famous streams of Hampshire with a constant source of incredibly pure, slightly alkaline water. Almost completely unique to this corner of the world, the chalk streams provide the perfect conditions for growing watercress. The spring water is so pure, we even use it to dilute our spirit after distillation.
Reveling in the constant shallow flow of this refined water, watercress of exceptional quality and taste grows naturally along the low banks of the streams and in the cultivated gravel beds of the watercress farms that surround our distillery. Renowned for its nose-tickling tones of pepper and mustard, the watercress also gave us our unusual moniker; Nasturtium officinale – the botanical name for watercress – is derived from the Latin nasus tortus, which literally and delightfully means “twisted nose”.