Picture it: A woman with her hair bobbed wearing a flapper-style dress dangles her gin cocktail from bejeweled fingers as she whispers in the ear of a man in black tie and tails. The magnificent halls, wall-size paintings, tables exquisitely set with china and stemware too numerous to count, the servants in their starched black and white. This is the Highclere Castle of a different time, recalling a different era.
Highclere Castle is most famously known as the setting for "Downton Abbey," one of the most popular historical dramas ever televised—if not the most popular British historical drama ever made. No time travel currently exists to let us experience Edwardian England and the Roaring Twenties that followed later, but a cocktail with Highclere Castle Gin, a super-premium London Dry Gin with botanicals from the castle’s herb gardens (originally planted in the ninth century by the Bishops of Winchester) may just give you that moment: capturing the elegance, flair and tradition of a bygone era.
“Highclere Castle has been renowned for its entertaining and house parties featuring gin cocktails through the years,” said Lady Carnarvon, the eighth Countess of Carnarvon and best-selling author of At Home at Highclere: Entertaining at the Real Downton Abbey. “We, therefore, felt that with the ever-rising interest in gin, the family’s heritage and indeed the Carnarvon’s love of the spirit, that it was a natural step to make a gin from Highclere provenance.”
Whether in a martini à la James Bond, a classic gin and tonic or a gin rickey the way F. Scott Fitzgerald (and Jay Gatsby) would have drank it, Highclere Castle Gin features a delicate balance of juniper, lime flower, orange peel and a touch of lavender. Integrating Highclere’s acclaimed estate-grown oats into the blend adds a unique smoothness and a long, memorable finish. Try it the Highclere way, a classic gin and tonic enjoyed at the castle for many years, made with gin, tonic and an orange peel, finished with a rosemary sprig.
It’s also worth noting that the custom glass bottle, designed and manufactured in England, is inspired by the castle and its architect, Sir Charles Barry. Its shape invokes the symbol of the main tower at Highclere. At the same time, the deep purple color recognizes the family’s heritage while capturing the brand’s premium qualities.
Available in the tristate area starting Sept. 6, Highclere Castle Gin will not only appeal to "Downtown Abbey" fans but cocktail connoisseurs as well—anyone who wants the best. Ask for it at your local liquor store and be sure to visit the Highclere Castle Gin Facebook page for updates. The Lord and Lady of the Manor would approve.