It's rewarding for our customers to recognise that they are supporting the conservation of trees and the environment through our business.

By Mary Vincent ǀ Willow Tree Gin

Willow tree gin logo

Willow Tree Gin is a premium spirit made from the highest quality ingredients and distilled in small batches, serving gin lovers in Bedford, Sandy, Great Barford, Biggleswade, St Neots, Hitchin, Milton Keynes, Woburn and beyond including the wonderful customers in Bedfordshire Waitrose stores. The special blend of herbs and botanicals include a smoked element, which gives Willow Tree Gin it’s special, unique and rich flavour. Our gin was originally distilled on my family farm in Bedfordshire, and the family farm is still used to grow selected herbs for the Willow Tree Gin recipe. However, we have recently moved distilleries and are Bedfordshire’s first and only distillery based in the little hamlet of Thorncote Green. But how did it all start?

Founder of Willow Tree Distilling, I spent long hot summer days as a child under the weeping willow trees on the family farm. Having environmental responsibility and being sustainable has been a huge passion from a young age. My passion to experiment with food and drink traces back to my parents living and working in Nigeria. My father was a keen cook, and loved creating recipes using unusual herbs and spices. This later on led me to explore these exotic African and Asian flavours, which can be tasted in the unique blend of Willow Tree Gin.

The seed was sown to take the plunge and start my own business when reflecting on my five year stay in Detroit. The entrepreneurial spirit stuck with me, motivating me to create my own product and start my own sustainable and socially responsible business. From this, I set about researching ideas and possible products to start my own company. After experimenting with various ideas, a chance comment about a friend flavouring whiskey sent me down the path of researching spirit production, and realised the growing popularity of craft gins. I then completed a course in distilling, achieved the required licenses, purchased a still and began the flavour experimentation process. The journey had only just begun, as it took another year of research into flavour combinations before I was 100% satisfied with our unique flavour. One of the factors that sets us apart from other gins is its particular herb and spice blend and the smoking process using carefully selected wood on the farm to impart a smooth richness to the gin. After a year of experimentation, Willow Tree Gin was born inspired by cultures, flavours and plants from all over the word. Drawing on warm, verdant summer days in the countryside, but also a sense of adventure, global travel and desire for new experiences.

After perfecting Willow Tree Gin’s flavour, it was extremely important to me that the process for manufacturing our gin was sustainable and environmentally conscious. To reduce impact on resources the water used in the distilling process is recycled in a closed loop twin condenser and the botanicals that give the gin its unique flavour are composted afterwards and used to fertilise and grow fresh herbs. Sold in classically beautiful glass bottles, the packaging uses as little plastic as possible.

We set out to find a way to partner up with a charity that was involved in the conservation of trees and forests, which linked back to the branding of ‘Willow Tree’.

After researching local charities we came across the Forest Centre of Marston Vale’s website, and was extremely impressed by their ethos, goals and aims which aligned with Willow Tree’s to be sustainable and environmentally conscious. It was the perfect fit for the business, and a great way for our customers to get involved in supporting the environment. Willow Tree Distillery is now working closely in collaboration with the Forest of Marston Vale - donating a percentage from every full-size bottle of Willow Tree Gin sold to ensure new trees are planted for future generations to enjoy.

So what can you expect from us here at Willow Tree in 2021? Willow Tree has recently moved distilleries to Trumpetons Farm, Thorncote Green. The new distillery will allow customers to come in and shop the full Willow Tree range. Swing by for a Willow Tree Gin and tonic at our bar, and book the space for exclusive gin experiences, where you will be able to create your own gin using a wide range of herbs and botanicals. As soon as we’re able to open, we cannot wait to welcome you all. To keep up to date with news and how to book our gin experiences head to our website

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