Cambridge launches competitor to Oxford University’s Physic Gin

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Image Credit: Paul Lowry

Following the successful launch of Physic Gin, a brand created by the University of Oxford, Cambridge University has this month released its own gin. 

Oxford University began marketing their Physic Gin back in February 2018. It features flavourings of wormwood, Szechuan pepper, opium poppy seed, calamus root and gentian root, all of which are grown in the University’s Botanical Garden. 

Physic Gin also featured a base made from ancient grains of barley. These grains were extracted from a number of historic thatched roofs across Oxfordshire and cultivated into a full crop which could then be hand-scythed and machine-threshed.

Cambridge’s Gin, which has been  named Curator’s Gin, has, like Oxford’s gin, been infused with flavours found in the University’s Botanical Garden. 

Curator’s Gin is characterised by a variety of floral flavourings, and ingredients including lavender, an unusual “green ginger” rosemary and berries from the dozens of varieties of juniper grown in the garden. 

“We had already been making gins for a dozen Cambridge colleges, using botanicals from their college gardens, when the offer came [from the University] asking whether we would like to have the keys to the sweet cupboard,” said William Lowe, co-founder of the distillery, Cambridge Gin in a statement to The Guardian.

He went on: “We were allowed unprecedented access to the university’s botanic garden itself, which was the holy grail for us.

“As an area of academia, it has this wonderful range of botanicals that are simply not available anywhere else, which enables you to bring a degree of complexity to the gin that would otherwise be lacking from the distillation process.”

The ginger rosemary has been described as an ingenious addition to the gin. The one plant alone has a flavour profile which when distilled adds aspects of ginger and rosemary to the gin simultaneously. 

Curator’s Gin is will be sold for around 40 GBP, making it 5 GBP more expensive than Oxford’s Physic Gin.