On this occasion, I went for Brownrigg’s Farm Shop in Godshill, which was well stocked with dozens of local products. Sure, it isn’t as cheap as a trip round Lidl, but we’re increasingly keen on local souvenirs which can be consumed rather than those which gather dust.
Whilst Mr Guru waited in the car with the children, I did a mini supermarket sweep, checking off some of the products which I’d been trying to track down. I emerged with a modestly sized bag of goodies, hid the receipt and offered consolation that another family in there seemed to be carrying out a weekly shop.
Here’s the blurb from the website:
Mermaid Gin “is a hand-made, small-batch gin using 10 botanicals that are meticulously sourced for quality and carefully blended to create a smooth, fresh and complex flavour profile. Locally foraged rock samphire and elderflower, fresh citrus zest from Sicilian lemons and Grains of Paradise are complemented by Boadicea hops grown in the local botanical gardens at Ventnor, English coriander from Sussex, orris root, angelica root, liquorish root, and juniper”
I don’t particularly like liquorice (can’t get away from the thought of Allsorts) or coriander but I do like Gin.
Included in the gift pack is a 50cl bottle of Mermaid Gin, a 200ml bottle of Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water and two Fever-Tree wooden stirrers. You can order the gift pack online directly from the Isle of Wight distillery, but it is also available at various Island shops.
The gift tube itself is beautifully designed and the bottles inside are well packaged to prevent any accidents during the journey home (that’s if you haven’t given in to temptation before then).
It cost about £8 and made enough for a couple of drinks. I rather got into the tasting, despite not being a gin expert. The juniper and coriander were certainly noticeable, as was the liquorice. There was also a slight peppery flavour and the elderflower flavour grew as I finished off the glass.
Mr Guru meanwhile just about managed to offer “very nice, tastes like gin”.
We rather enjoyed our first sample of gin from The Isle of Wight Distillery and are looking forward to sampling more of their range in the future. If you’re interested, the Mermaid Gin people also run The Mermaid Bar at the Wishing Well, which is nearish to Ryde. We’ve not been yet, but we’re hoping to pop in sometime now that we’ve got a taste for it!