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Shakespeare Distillery plans for mulberry gin

Shakespeare Distillery, in partnership with The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, is producing a mulberry gin, havested from two trees in the Great Garden of Shakespeare's New Place.

The oldest mulberry tree in the Great Garden is reputed to have been grown from a cutting taken from a mulberry tree originally planted in the garden by Shakespeare when he lived at New Place. This tree was cut down by the Reverend Francis Gastrell over 250 years ago. Whilst there is no way of proving the truth of this tale, the age of the tree that stands today fits. The second tree was planted in 1969 by Shakespearian actress, Dame Peggy Ashcroft.

Established in 2015, Shakespeare Distillery produces Stratford Gin from its base on the 4000-acre Alscot estate in Stratford-upon-Avon. Made in batches taking inspiration from the Tudor period, it uses ten botanicals that would have been common in Shakespeare’s time. The Mulberry Gin is made by combining mulberries with Stratford Gin and leaving them to steep for several months before decanting and bottling. The result is a deep rich fruity gin ideal for sipping or using in cocktails.

Glyn Jones, head of gardens at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, says: “The mulberry has ripened earlier than expected this year due to the warm temperatures we’ve been enjoying. Rather than let the fruit go to waste, we approached our friends at Shakespeare Distillery to see if they could make use of the early harvest to produce a special batch of mulberry gin and we’re delighted they said yes! Our team of gardeners worked with them to harvest the fruit and we can’t wait to be one of the first to taste the fruits of our labour.”  

Simon Picken, director and master distiller comments: "We originally created and launched our mulberry gin in April 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, purposely choosing mulberries due to their connection with the bard. It was therefore incredibly exciting to be invited to harvest the fruits from these very special trees and we hope they will make a great special edition of our mulberry gin.”

Special edition bottles of Shakespeare Distillery’s New Place Mulberry Gin will be available to purchase at the Shakespeare’s New Place gift shop on Chapel Street later this year, making the perfect gift for Christmas. For more information visit

4 September 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor