RHS Enters the Adult Beverage Category

New RHS-endorsed Honeybee Gin will be sold with packet of wildflower seeds to encourage bee-friendly gardens.

EUROPE—The Royal Horticultural Society has signed a three-year deal with craft distiller Warner Edwards to place the RHS logo on bottles of Warner Edwards Honeybee Gin.

After a trial launch with the Craft Gin Club, the RHS-endorsed Warner Edwards Honeybee Gin was launched yesterday at Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly in London. It has been chosen as Spirit of the Month’ for October by the department store. The gin will also be available at Warner Edwards and a number of other high-end, on-trade establishments. Every bottle will be sold with a packet of wildflower seeds to encourage the planting of bee-friendly gardens and spaces.

Warner Edwards has also announced plans to work with the gardeners at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey to install beehives within its relocated heather garden. RHS Garden Wisley is home to the National Plant Collection of heather, with more than 800 species and cultivars in the collection. The new heather garden, which will open in May 2018, will have a new location, new landscaping, and a café.

“This is a very important collaboration—not just because it is a strong addition to the strand of our licensing program that promotes U.K. craft businesses, but because of the high-quality product involved, and, of course, because of Warner Edwards’ role in the development of the relocated RHS Garden Wisley heather garden,” says Cathy Snow, licensing manager, RHS.

The Honeybee Gin is part of Warner Edwards’ Botanical Garden collection of specialty gins. It has 28 botanicals distilled in a 500-litre copper pot still with pure spring water. A post-distillation infusion of honey is then added to the gin. The result is a 43 percent ABV floral and zesty but delicately sweet gin. A video has been posted on YouTube describing this process in more detail.

“We are thrilled to be promoting gardening, bee welfare and, of course, craft gin production alongside the RHS,” says Christina Warner Keogh, partner and co-owner, Warner Edwards Distillery. “This is a very special gin–and a very special partnership.”

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