Waitrose says it is responding to customer demand for local products by stocking artisanal gins in selected branches.
Small-batch Ramsbury Gin from Wiltshire contains juniper picked on nearby Salisbury Plain and quince and wheat from the distillery's estate, mixed with water from its own source. It's now available in just ten Waitrose shops in Wiltshire and West Berkshire.
Cotswolds Dry Gin is stocked in ten Waitrose supermarkets in the Cotswolds – where the distillery also sources the lavender used in its recipe – and Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin can be found in just six Waitrose branches across Yorkshire. It's Yorkshire's first gin and each hand-filled bottle has its own hand-written batch and bottle number.
"Gin is now the most popular spirit we sell, having overtaken whisky earlier this year," says John Vine, Waitrose Spirits Buyer.
"Gin from local and regional distilleries have become particularly popular for several reasons. There's been a shift towards people sipping the spirit before their meal as an aperitif, so artisan gins, which tend to have been infused with unique flavours, really appeal for this purpose. Our customers are also looking for local gins in a bid to support smaller suppliers."
The supermarket chain says it is always looking for new suppliers, so if you want local products, ask for them.