Did you know … ?
…. that gin is actually flavoured vodka? That archaeobotanists use straw from the thatched roofs of old buildings to research ancient heritage grains? That indeed, there is such a job as an archaeobotanist?
These and other gems I discovered on a visit to The Oxford Artisan Distillery (TOAD). Once again, the lovely old barn that is TOAD’s home was the venue for a gin-flavoured hour of information and inebriation. Well, someone’s gotta do it!
All in belated celebration of the publication of Note to Boy which, you may have noticed, features quite a bit of gin tippling.
Tipples, nibbles and giggles were on the agenda, as we listened to our guide Sarah, who provided just the right mix of historical context and (increasingly) hysterical laughter. My thanks to her and the rest of the TOAD crew, and to Sheila, Louise and Michael for their company, and for backing me over the years.
TOAD is well worth a visit if you’re in the Oxford area. While you’re there, don’t miss the picture of our new king, complete with improvised crown, being let into some of secrets of TOAD gin making.
Sarah explains about the copper gin stills and how they are cleaned. (Someone climbs inside!)
A rapt audience learns about base spirit and botanicals – and immediately forgets everything they’re told!
TOAD’s lovely old barn.
The Three Muskgineers! Making the ultimate sacrifice for literature – Louise, Sheila and your author.
Charles III and his improvised crown.