Skip to main content

No results found

Curiosities, Eat, Sleep, Drink, Drink

Mother's Ruin:

Chalgrove Artisan Distillery

divider
Jack Rayner

This month, Jack Rayner spoke to Bob Clark of Oxfordshire’s own Chalgrove Artisan Distillery.

At OX Magazine, like most halfway-rational human beings with at least the faintest semblance of taste, we love gin. It most likely won’t come as any news to you, as a discerning reader of Oxfordshire’s finest lifestyle magazine, that the last decade has seen an unprecedented explosion of artisanal gin distilleries, popping up all over the country and producing spectacular botanical elixirs. So, welcome to ‘Mother’s Ruin’, our monthly feature celebrating one particular gin operation which we think deserves greater attention.

How and why did you set up a distillery?

I've been making wine and brewing beer for about 40 years. I've been on a commercial brewing course and I've always been interested in that sort of work. When my wife knew she was being made redundant a few years ago she wanted to do something very different, having worked for a global, corporate firm for her whole life. We thought about a venture which we could do together that wasn't massively cost-prohibitive and that we could do from home, and we kept coming back to producing drink. We love gin and knew we could create a great gin, so we did exactly that, and in January we started trading.

How did you develop your recipe?

My wife has quite a talent for it. She has formulated the recipe through trial and error, and my skill lies in the distillation process. We've received nothing but good feedback about our gin – we became a supplier to Young's Brewery in London under a month before we started, and we've growing really nicely. I think that's purely because of the product.

Tell us about the process itself.

We have two copper alembic stills. We buy in a very high-quality neutral grain spirit from Essex, and redistil the spirit using our recipe in our two stills.

What botanicals are you using?

For our OX44 gin, we're using the basics – juniper, coriander, lemon peel, black cardamom – and also oris root, mulberries, orange, kaffir lime, and Scottish heather.

How did you come to the decision on what to include?

I didn't! My wife formulated the recipe – she has the most acute palette and formulated a fantastic recipe. It's an incredible refreshing gin with hints of spice, as well as a faint lavender aroma from the Scottish heather.

How would you recommend serving OX44?

With a slice of pink grapefruit. It complements the flavour perfectly.

Where do you go from here?

We're bringing out two new gins: OX1 and OX4. OX1 is a zestier gin, with more of a citrus profile, and is 40% by volume – lower than OX44, which is 45%. OX4 is also 40%, but is a much drier gin, and uses hops as a main botanical.

Thanks Bob.

chalgroveartisandistillery.com

Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery Still
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery 2 stills
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery crates
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery still from other angle
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery tasting
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery bottle against window
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery bottle on bar
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery bottle on table
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery pouring
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery bottle with glass
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery bottle with 2 glasses
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery bottle in bucket
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery bottle bucket glass
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery glasses black white
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery bottle fire
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery sharing
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery OX44 Bottle
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery OX44 with glasses and lime
Mother’s Ruin Chalgrove Artisan Distillery logo

RECOMMENDED

Fri 18 Jan 2019

Foodylicious:

Food and Drink you can feel Good About

After a chance meeting at the Didcot Street Fair I find myself on the way to meet Simon Collinson, a man who knows more about the UK’s food and drink industry than anyone you’re likely to meet. I was there to discover the ethos of a man whose enterprise, Foodylicious, had caught our attention. He’s an extremely affable chap, with a generous smile and genuinely enthusiastic tone. I first ask him of the route of his career thus far and discover a raft of leading brands that he was responsible for bringing to the UK consumer.

Mon 14 Jan 2019

Self-confessed food obsessive and fermentation advocate, Emma Collen, owner of the fabulous Jericho Kitchen Cookery School, had her passion for all things fermented ignited by a lesson from Simon Poffley, author of Ferment, Pickle, Dry: Ancient Methods, Modern Meals.

Fri 11 Jan 2019

One aspect of the festive season that inspires a little reflection come January is our alcohol intake. Christmas and New Year seem to be a perfect storm for having one too many, and January can leave us feeling the need to cut back – hence dry January. So as to not feel like one has to totally abandon the booze – here are a couple of guilt-free cocktail ideas from some purveyors of fine, alcohol-free and low-calorie drinks that won’t have you feeling left out.  

Fri 28 Dec 2018

Love your area:

Best of Witney

From real ales to hay bales, via blankets and confectionery here are OX Magazine’s best-loved Witney staples