Gins that support wildlife conservation | BBC Wildlife Magazine
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Raise a glass and help wildlife at the same time with these conservation-supporting gins. Each distillery featured here either donates a set amount of profit from a particular bottle, or a percentage of overall profits, to wildlife charities. Species benefitting from these partnerships include seagrass, tarsier (a small primate) and a rare beetle.
If you fancy having a go at creating your own fruit gin with foraged berries and flowers, check out our recipes for sloe gin (plus, sloe port for reusing those gin-soaked sloes), hawthorn gin (on the BBC Countryfile Magazine website), and elderflower gin.
For more inspiration for wildlife-themed or conservation-supporting products, read our guides to gifts for nature lovers, wildlife-themed jigsaw puzzles, and wildlife and nature books for children and teenagers.
Classic London Dry, Salcombe Gin
With a love of sailing, the sea and the outdoors in the founders’ hearts, Salcombe Distilling Co. (named after the Salcombe Bay in which the distillery is based) has sustainability and wildlife conservation as a core part of its business. Alongside a number of initiatives to use energy from renewable sources, create a gin refill scheme and cut down on plastic packaging wherever possible, the company has also partnered up with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).
1% from the UK sales of their 70cl bottles of ‘Start Point’ (pictured above) and ‘Rosé Sainte Marie’ goes towards the MCS’ seagrass regeneration project, equivalent to protecting 2m2. An additional 1m2 is protected with the UK sales of their 70cl bottle of ‘New London Light’ (their non-alcoholic spirit). Seagrass regeneration plays a key part in restoring the health of our ocean’s ecosystems, and in fighting the climate crisis: seagrass meadows are able to store carbon dioxide, which contributes to global heating, at a rate 35 times faster than tropical rainforests. These meadows are also able to support 40 times more marine life than seabeds without grass, including endangered seahorses and 50 species of fish.
Reviewed by Megan Shersby, editorial and digital co-ordinator, BBC Wildlife
Seaweed Welsh Dry Gin, St Davids Distillery
Britain’s smallest city is home to a big idea: local produce, made by local people for the benefit of the local community and its wildlife. Infused with seaweed gathered by a local foraging firm, this gin from St Davids Kitchen isn’t just a great local product (and let’s be clear here, it is a great local product, full of sweetness and spices) but sees 5% of net sales funding the vital work carried out along the Pembrokeshire coast by RSPB Cymru.
RSPB Ramsey Island Site Manager, Greg Morgan said: “The plan is to produce seasonal Ramsey Island gins. Spring will incorporate gorse flower and wild thyme, summer includes sheep’s sorrel and wood sage, while autumn and winter will feature Ramsey’s fragrant heather and mint. St Davids Kitchen are also hoping to craft a special blend made from juniper berries found on the peninsula.”
Reviewed by Paul McGuinness, editor, BBC Wildlife
Strawberry Pink Gin Liqueur, Nene Valley Spirits
Drink a toast to our beautiful native wildlife while you simultaneously help conserve it by investing in this limited edition pink gin liqueur, created by Nene Valley Spirits. £5 from every bottle goes to support the work of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust, restoring local wildlife and protecting wild spaces in over 100 nature reserves.
The handcrafted small batch gin is flavoured with natural strawberry, giving it a light fruity taste and distinctive colour. It’s perfect for cocktails, such as a variation on the Kir Royale theme, but it’s equally tasty with tonic over ice.
Reviewed by Aoife Glass, digital strategist, BBC Wildlife
Carabus Gin, The Papillon Distillery
Nobody ever said that the life of a naturalist was a bed of roses, but spare a thought for BBC Wildlife columnist Nick Baker, who has gone the extra mile in a desperate bid to help the species he loves. Take his work with the Papillon Distillery on his native Dartmoor, for example. Painstakingly blending a gin that features such local foragables as rowan and hawthorn berries, nettles and wood sorrel, Nick has helped create the limited edition Carabus gin.
The delicious (and moreish) blend is all for a cause close to Nick’s heart, with £2 per bottle being donated to Buglife in support of Dartmoor’s blue ground beetle (Carabus intricatus – hence the name). Cheers, Nick!
Reviewed by Paul McGuinness, editor, BBC Wildlife
Tarsier, Southeast Asian Dry Gin
Full of citrus, spice and – if you’re fond of South-East Asian cuisine – everything nice, this award-winning aromatic gin is on the savoury side with a warming peppery tang. Born out of the makers’ travels to the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, the company donates 10% of its profits to conservation efforts to help the tarsier, a small South-East Asian primate, and its habitat. Tarsier also makes an Oriental Pink gin.
Reviewed by Angharad Moran, former production editor, BBC Wildlife
Main image: Two glasses of gin and tonic. © Getty