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York Gin Roman Fruit - full strength, no added sugar

A juniper-led, full-strength (42.5%) dry gin with no added sugar, infused with fruits and flowers associated with Ancient Rome - including strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples and hibiscus. The infusion is a Yorkshire-made tea that sits in our London Dry gin for over two weeks to ensure it develops a rich red imperial hue and a complex flavour.

Awarded a star at the Great Taste Awards 2019 and described as ‘mouthwatering', and a Bronze Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2019. Its Latin motto is ‘Veni, vidi, bibi’- ‘I came, I saw, I drank.’

Botanicals: juniper, coriander seeds, angelica root, cardamom, cinnamon bark, dried lemon peel, orris root, black pepper and grains of paradise, dried fruit tea infusion: hibiscus, apple, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries.

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Serves

Berry G&T:

  • 50ml York Gin Roman Fruit
  • 100ml of light tonic, Mediterranean tonic or lemonade 
  • Lots of ice
  • Garnish: Raspberries or small strawberries

Lemon G&T:

(As served at the Star Inn the City, York.)

  • 50ml York Gin Roman Fruit
  • 100ml lemon tonic
  • Lots of ice
  • Lemon peel to garnish

Classics don Negroni:

  • 20ml York Gin Roman Fruit
  • 20ml Sweet Vermouth - Carpano Antica, Cinzano Rosso or Punt e Mes
  • 20ml Campari
  • Lots of ice
  • Garnish: Fresh orange peel

Method:

Pour York Gin Roman Fruit, Campari and sweet vermouth into a mixing glass, add the ice and give it a good stir until it's chilled. 

Strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with orange peel.

Roman Fizz cocktail:

  • 25ml York Gin Roman Fruit
  • Prosecco or Champagne
  • Raspberries

Method:

In a champagne flute add the gin then the fizz followed by the fruit. Simple!


History in the tasting

We’ve plundered Ancient Roman Britain to bring history to life with our very first fruit infused gin - a juniper-led dry gin infused with fruits and flora associated with Ancient Rome.

After distillation, we infuse our gin with a Yorkshire-made tea infusion that includes berries, apples and hibiscus - all associated with our Roman friends of old.

Hibiscus was recently found to be an ingredient in pills found in a medical store rescued from a sunken ship off the coast of Tuscany from around 200BC.

Virgil, Ovid and Pliny the Elder all mention strawberries in their writings.

And the Romans introduced tastier varieties of apples than the people of these islands had been used to.

Roman drinking was generally moderate - following the Ancient Greek practice of watering down their wine. And we recommend a Mediterranean or light tonic and large ice cubes as perfect accompaniments to York Gin Roman Fruit.

That’s not to say there wasn’t any binge-drinking in Roman times. Coinciding with the Romans’ arrival in Britain, four emperors - Caligula, Claudius, Nero and Galba who ruled from AD37 to AD69 - were all known for their excessive drinking. Drinking was a relatively minor fault compared to their other alleged behaviour. 

Thanks to Mary Beard, et al

During our research, we found an Independent newspaper article from 2005 that said it was an offence to be in charge of a Roman chariot while drunk.

We thought we would fact-check our article by asking some of the world’s top classical scholars on Twitter. (Never for a minute thinking they would respond.)

But of course they did.

Professor Mary Beard of Cambridge University (yes, the Mary Beard) wondered about the source for the drunken chariot-riding claim - and we spent 24 hours trying and failing to find one. We did read an interesting PhD on Roman drinking by Shaun Mudd of Exeter University during our quest for a source.

Professor Catharine Edwards of London University wrote to us: “Looks good to me. One of Rome's most famous drinkers was Mark Antony, vilified by Cicero for vomiting, in the aftermath a drinking bout, in front of a large public gathering; Roman magistrates should feel ashamed even to belch in front of others, Cicero asserts.”

And Angie Hobbs, Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at Sheffield University, agreed that our piece looked good and hoped the controversy over the chariots would be resolved soon. (Prof Hobbs is more of a Greek specialist.)

Despite not finding any evidence that Roman chariot drivers weren’t allowed to drink on the job, we still love our Latin road safety motto: ‘Non bibere et agitare.' (‘Don’t drink and drive.’)

 

Veni! Vidi! Bibi! 

Roman York - or Eboracum - was founded in 71AD as a military fortress by General Quintus Petillius Cerialis and his Ninth Legion. This came after the Brigante tribe started to rebel against the Roman occupation. It would be little wonder if the Romans turned to drink during their more hair-raising moments of occupation.

Much of the fortress lies under the foundations of York Minster. The statue of Constantine the Great outside the Minister represents him reclining on his throne - one arm outstretched, as if waiting for someone to give him a glass of something stronger than Yorkshire water.

Constantine may even have eaten some of the ingredients we’ve infused into our gin on the fateful York day in 306AD he pronounced himself Emperor after his dad, Constantius, had died. Something that always tickles us, is that the names of his kids included Constantina, Constantine, Constantius and Constans. In his defence, baby names books weren’t around in the fourth century.

We hope you’ll enjoy your York Gin Roman Fruit and hope it evokes a long lost time when roads were straight, people still actually spoke Latin - and may have said:

 ‘Veni! Vidi! Bibi’ (‘I came! I saw! I drank!’)

York Gin Roman Organic Hibiscus Fruit Tea is carefully blended and created by PippaTEAS, Middlesborough especially for York Gin Company.

Buy York Gin Roman Fruit