What we ima-gin-ed…
Our dream was to create a unique, honey-based spirit, with care and
quality as its cornerstones; the Raw Honey Distillery was the realisation!
At our small-batch Surrey Hills’ distillery we hand-craft raw distilled, premium Gin.
From our single-estate beekeeper knowing when the raw honey is at its absolute prime for the distilling process, to our distiller adding botanicals ‘to taste’ and individually sealing every bottle only when he is completely satisfied, care, time, thought and love have been taken in every step of the journey our gin has made to your glass.
“Out of adversity comes opportunity…”
…and so it proved for the founders of the Raw Honey Distillery! It was the winter of 2020/21 and life on our small, wet island in the North Atlantic had a rather dystopian feel to it. The rain beat down, Christmas had all but been cancelled, a pandemic raged, lockdowns, facemasks, panic buying stripped supermarket shelves of food (and umbrellas) and social distancing (often in the rain) had become part of the accepted norm.
Ed, middle-aged with an eye for opportunity, an ear for potential investments and a nose that can sniff out the faintest scent of juniper at any given farmer’s market, was helping a stallholder there, selling honey with his beekeeping wife Joanna. Ed was on one of his half hourly, 45-minute breaks from the stall which generally saw him literally following his nose, licking his lips and heading out for ‘provisions’ by way of the refreshments tent!
In the refreshments tent was Sam, selling hot drinks and nips of gin on behalf of a local distillery. Not long graduated with a first-class degree in Chemistry, Sam had developed a keen interest in the processes involved in winemaking, distilling and the production and flavouring of alcoholic drinks. Having secured successful internships in leading wine estates across the world, including New Zealand, South Africa and the USA, Sam had returned to these shores to continue learning his trade in the beverage industry and add the next layer to an already impressive CV.
What forces were at work that day which saw Ed literally make a beeline for Sam’s gin stall and begin the conversation which sowed the seeds of the Raw Honey Distillery, we may never know. What we do know, is given the differential in their anatomical altitudes above sea level it was somewhat fortuitous they saw each other at all!
Our ori-gin-al offering
Fundamental to the rationale behind the Raw Honey Distillery is we were never going to simply create just ‘another’ gin or vodka. We’ve not created a spirit for spirit’s sake. Our product has been born of a desire to create a social product of our time, with the most natural components in a way which complements our environment, delivering a delightfully unique twist of pleasure to the palate. Nothing fancy in itself—Raw Honey Distillery products are born out of simplicity—but the result we hope will deliver a far more complex experience than the sum of its parts would suggest. Raw Honey Distillery gin is more ‘Mother Nature’s resin’.
With honey as our signature ingredient here at the Raw Honey Distillery we naturally have a healthy appreciation and respect for nature and in particular maintaining and growing a healthy environment in which bees can thrive. Moreover, we source our honey direct from a single artisanal beekeeper. We know the hives the honey has come from and the beekeeper who collects the gorgeous honey.
Bees are not only key to produce our beverages but also integral to the stability of our food chain in general, transferring pollen between flowering plants, keeping the cycle of life turning. Despite this the bee population across the World is in decline. Loss of habitat and food sources, exposure to pesticides and the effects of changes in the global climate are all contributing to dwindling numbers of our pollen loving friends.
While arresting this global decline in the bee population will likely take a significant change in attitudes and priorities from Governments across the World, we can all help to slow or indeed reverse the process in our local environment at least. A great place to start is simply by ensuring we maximise the number of plants for pollinators we have in our gardens or outside space. That’s why every product sold at the Raw Honey Distillery comes with a pack of wildflower meadow seeds. We’d love it if you planted these and helped your local environment bloom (and so would the bees!)
Our eye catching labels were hand-drawn by Raynes Park based designer Sally. Ed was selling Honey with his Wife at a market when their paths crossed just as Sally was finishing up a stunningly detailed drawing of a wild mushroom. Ed was captivated and asked Sally if she could design a label for us, and well, she most definitely can! It took her over one week to draw the bee alone! Her eye for detail and aspiration for quality mirrors our line of drinks!