An Essex-based farmer has launched a new sustainable spirits range with the aim to tackle the problem of wasted fruit in the UK.
With 10-16% of fruit and vegetables grown on UK farms wasted every year, third generation Essex farmer and fruit-grower Pete Thompson set out to create a more sustainable way of farming.
Pete’s goal was to find new uses for the apples, pears, apricots and plums grown on his Essex farm, but which haven’t made the grade required by retailers.
Thompson’s Farm has recently launched Reliquum London Dry Gin, a spirit which uses an eau de vie made from apples grown in the farm’s orchards which would otherwise go to waste.
Reliquum London Dry Gin also includes botanicals such as calamondin, an unusual citrus fruit which is also grown on the farm.
Made in partnership with master distiller Dr John Walters from the English Spirit Distillery, Reliquum is described as an “exceptionally smooth citrusy gin mellowed with the floral sweetness of apple”.
The name Reliquum comes from Latin and means ‘All that remains’.
Two other spirits join the Reliquum range: Reliquum Plum and Reliquum Apricot.
To make Reliquum Plum, the London Dry Gin is blended with Lizzie plums to produce a bright sharp spirit with an almond after-taste, while Reliquum Apricot (pictured) blends London Dry with tree-ripened apricots for a smooth taste with the distinct aroma of ripe apricots.
The fruit used to make the spirits is grown in traditional orchards and is left to naturally ripen to develop the fullest flavour.
Founder Pete Thompson said: “We are very proud of this London Dry Gin, but it is only the first step in our journey towards creating a genuine single estate gin, using ingredients entirely sourced from the fields and orchards of our farm, here in Great Oakley on the north eastern tip of coastal Essex.”
Master distiller Dr John Walters added: “We pride ourselves on producing the best spirits anywhere in the country and this means partnering with the best growers. We are delighted to work alongside Thompson’s and develop their world class product.”
The Reliquum range follows the autumn 2017 launch of Cotchel, a juice made also from the unwanted apples and pears grown on Thompson’s Farm.
Reliquum is available online and is stocked in a number of Essex bars and restaurants. Thompson’s is actively looking for more stockists in the on-trade.