This Halloween you can ‘unleash a witch‘ with a unique gin inspired by a mysterious object in Oxford’s famous Pitt Rivers Museum. Witch in a Bottle Gin is a spirit inspired by a small glass bottle on display at the museum and said to contain a real witch.
The ‘silvered and stoppered’ bottle was collected by folklorist and archaeologist Margaret Murray in 1915 in Hove, Sussex and dates back to the 1850s. At the time the common form of ‘witch bottle’ was a magical tool to protect against evil. But this particular container was obtained from an elderly lady who warned that opening the bottle would ‘release the witch’ and unleash ‘a peck o trouble’. Since it was acquired in 1926 the bottle has never been opened, although it was loaned to the Ashmolean in 2018 for their exhibition Spellbound.
However, Pitt Rivers Museum has now made a bottle you can open with its Witch in a Bottle Gin. Created exclusively for the Museum by distillers Foxdenton, the delicious gin is made from a blend of botanicals including lemon peel and lime flower oil, and best served with tonic water, ice and a slice of lemon. It’s available in 75cl and 5cl bottles exclusively from the Pitt Rivers Museum shop on South Parks Road, Oxford and also online.
We have one bottle of gin to give away to a lucky reader so head over to our competitions page to enter: www.oxmag.co.uk/competitions