Gin was first invented in 1550 by a Dutch physician for medicinal purposes. Highly addictive and cheap, in 17th century England it became known as mothers ruin and was often looked down on as a beverage.
300 years on and herbal gins have regained their medicinal status. Berries found in hedgerows in the autumn are bottled and traditionally have their first tasting at Christmas.
Pictured is damson gin made with honey and maple syrup, in the smaller jar sloe and rosehip gin made with brown sugar. All these fruit are high in bio-active compounds that are perfectly preserved in the alcohol; for example rosehip has 20 times more vitamin C than citrus fruit. During WW2 when importing fruit was not possible local alternatives were essential.