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Palace of Holyroodhouse launches its first gin with herbs from its historical garden for Burns Night

Palace of HolyroodHouse Dry Gin. (Photo: Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2024)

A DRY GIN infused with botanicals grown in the Physic Garden at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Scottish seat of the Royal Family, is available from today from Royal Collection Trust, a department of the Royal Household.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse Dry Gin is infused with mint and lemon thyme, two distinctly fruity herbs that have been hand-picked from the Physic Garden for theirvibrant flavour. Inspired by the garden’s history of cultivating medicinal and culinary herbs, the botanicals – which are steeped for 24 hours before the distilling process begins – combine with juniper to create a delicately fragrant gin with a complex citrus top note. 

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The gin pairs beautifully with mediterranean or elderflower tonics to further enhance the refreshing flavours of the herbs. Garnished with fresh mint leaves and a sprig of thyme, it will make an elegant aperitif deserving of Scotland’s foremost poet. 

The Physic Garden was opened adjacent to the Palace in 2020 to recreate the earliest known gardens on the site, and can be freely enjoyed year-round by the people of Edinburgh and visitors to the Palace.

Founded in the grounds of the Palace in 1670 by two Scottish physicians, Sir Robert Sibbald and Sir Andrew Balfour, the original garden provided pharmacists with vital, fresh ingredients and allowed students to learn the medicinal properties of plants. It was the first of its kind in Scotland and was the forerunner of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Today, visitors to the Physic Garden will see plants such as fennel, lavender, and lemon balm growing. It is joined by a meadow of wildflowers with healing properties, evoking the 15th-century monastic gardens of Holyrood Abbey, while 17th-century royal gardens have been reimagined through geometric displays of bulbs including crocuses, tulips, and alliums. 

In a further nod to its historical surroundings, the gin bottle’s floral design is inspired by the 17th-century Scottish textiles seen on the bed in Mary, Queen of Scots’ Bedchamber at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. With interlacing leaves, vines, and flowers, the stylised foliage design was typical of Jacobean crewelwork – a fashionable type of embroidery at the time.

All profits from sales of the gin go towards the care of, and access to, the Royal Collection through the public opening of the Royal Residences, exhibitions, loans, and educational programmes managed by Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse Dry Gin, 40% abv, can now be purchased from the Royal Collection Trust shop in Edinburgh at £40.00 for a 70cl bottle.

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