A former member of the SAS, who created the first 'Iron-Brew' liqueur, has launched a new Scottish gin named after the Roman wall built to keep the Caledonians out of England.

Swansea-born Andy Petherick served as a special forces soldier for four years before founding ‘The Pilgrim Spirits Company’ based in Alnwick, Northumbria.

Petherick, 42, stated that the AD142 16-fort Antonine Wall, known to the Romans as Vallum Antonini, served as inspiration for the new gin.

A turf fortification on stone foundations, it was built between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde, and took twelve years to complete.

The recipe for the gin was created using key botanicals including carob, fig, lime zest, Scottish heather honey  and Icelandic moss.

The Pilgrim Spirits Company founder said: “Antonine Wall Gin, which is being launched this month, has been created to celebrate this key landmark in Scottish history.”

“It’s bottled in a ceramic croc with solid pewter labels. Carob was used by the Romans as a substitute for chocolate. The Romans loved Scottish heather honey.”

Made by gin producer Lewis Scothorne in Arbroath, Petherick stated that they will make 400 bottles at a time, with extra provenance given to each batch as they will be named after important forts from along the wall including Bishopton and Old Kilpatrick.

The spirits maker added that the preferred serve for Antonine Gin is with Fever Tree Elderflower tonic over ice and garnished with a sprig of mint, elderflower or heather if available.

The new gin will be available from specialist retailers across the country including Whisky Trail, Edinburgh, Cornhill Village Shop, Cornhill on Tweed, Scottish Gantry, Stirling and Spirit of Callendar in Callender.

Ronnie Bullen, who is the company’s Glasgow-based Scottish sales manager, explained that the idea for the Antionine Wall gin came after they produced a similar spirit for another famous Roman landmark, Hadrian’s Wall, in 2017.

Made with Roman-inspired botanicals like angelica, pimento, chamomile and mint, ‘Hadrian’s Wall Gin’ was inspired by the fact the Romans grew herbs under their walls.

The company say it is the UK’s first, and so far only, brown gin.

• You can find out more information about how you can buy the new gin at www.antoninewallgin.com

 

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Kevin Pilley is a former professional cricketer and graduate of St Andrews University. His work appears worldwide.

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