Portobello Road Gin edition offers juniper plants

by Amy Hopkins

London-based Portobello Road Gin has teamed up with retailer Waitrose to offer a juniper plant gift-with-purchase alongside a limited edition bottle.

In order to “support conservational efforts” for declining populations of British juniper, Portobello Road will send a juniper plant to each customer who purchases a 75cl bottle of its gift-wrapped limited edition from Waitrose. Growers will then have the opportunity to send the juniper back to the Ginstitute at The Distillery – home of Portobello Road Gin – where it will be used to create bespoke juniper distillates. Customers can then create their own bottle of gin to take home. Portobello Road Gin has teamed up with gardening expert and author of How to Grow Stuff Alice Vincent to provide tips on growing the plant. “Juniper is a hardy plant, however the British contingent has taken somewhat of a beating in recent years, encountering a number of problems including disease and fragmented populations,” said Tom Coates, brand director of Portobello Road Gin. “We want to help get the foundation of the nation’s favourite spirit back on track and while most brands – including Portobello Road Gin – do not use British juniper in their spirit, as passionate gin-educators, safe-guarding our nation’s beloved juniper plant is very important to us.” He added: “We’ve already helped thousands of people to blend their own gin at The Ginstitute, in Notting Hill and so we thought it would be fascinating to take it to the next step, by encouraging green-fingered fans to grow their own juniper berries at home that can then be distilled into a unique gin.” Portobello Road Gin’s ‘Grow Your Own Juniper’ bottle is priced at £25 and will be available exclusively in Waitrose stores nationwide from 1 June. Earlier this year horticultural experts collected and stored juniper seeds from across the UK in underground vaults as part of a bid to preserve declining populations of the plant – which creates the predominant flavour in gin.