Physic Gin is the first gin made for the University of Oxford thanks to a 25 year licence - and the first of its kind granted by the University, allowing spirits to be made with the revered Oxford brand, by The Oxford Artisan Distillery.
Just six months after the opening of Oxford’s first distillery, The Oxford Artisan Distillery (TOAD) has today unveiled its second premium gin - a complex, richly botanical ‘Physic Gin’ created for the University of Oxford’s Botanic Garden.
Physic Gin, which carries the exclusive University of Oxford brand, is the first spirit to be launched under a 25-year licence allowing the distillery to produce alcoholic spirits for the world-famous university. Its formulation and design celebrate the history and current usage of the university’s extraordinary botanic garden – the oldest of its kind in the country.
Founded in 1621 as a physicke (physic) garden for the teaching of herbal medicine, Oxford Botanic Garden was planted during the 1640s by its first keeper, Jacob Bobart the Elder. In 1648, Bobart created a catalogue of all the plants which he grew, now preserved as a treasured ancient manuscript at the Garden. The Oxford Artisan Distillery is the only distiller in the world allowed access to the catalogue and Garden to both inspire and flavour its recipes.
Twenty five botanicals, mostly from Bobart’s list and many grown and foraged in the Garden today, give Physic Gin its unique personality and flavour. Master Distiller Cory Mason says “This gin is medicinal – in a good way. Botanicals like wormwood, rue and sweet woodruff bring a deeply complex flavour to bear and take us back to the time when plants formed the base of all medicine. Expect rich, earthy notes from this gin – like nothing you have tasted before”.
Distilled from ancient grains, grown exclusively for The Oxford Artisan Distillery in fields close to Oxford, Physic Gin has total ‘grain-to-glass’ provenance. The grain is farmed sustainably in ways once common in medieval times, contributing to biodiversity and soil health in the English countryside. All of The Oxford Artisan Distillery’s grain is distilled in unique hand-crafted copper stills and spirits are hand bottled on site. The Oxford Artisan Distillery Founder Tom Nicolson says: “TOAD is that rarest of things - a true craft distillery. We care deeply about the quality of our spirits but also about the impact of our production. We are the first distillery in this brilliant city, known all over the world as a centre of excellence. We are delighted to hold this unique partnership with its revered university”
Director of Oxford Botanic Garden Professor Simon Hiscock explains “I was so impressed by the integrity and passion behind TOAD; it makes perfect sense for Oxford Botanic Garden to align itself with Oxford’s first craft distillery. I’m looking forward to making spirits inspired by our historical collections and having some botanical fun along the way.”