Other

Juniper Fungus Causes Gin Shortage in UK

Juniper Fungus Causes Gin Shortage in UK



We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Enjoy your gin fizz while you can, because it might be more and more difficult to come by

Juniper berries in Northern England have contracted a fungus that may threaten the supply of gin.

If your favorite cocktail is a martini, gin and tonic, or Tom Collins, you may have to start testing some new combinations.

The world’s gin supply is endangered according to The Telegraph. The newspaper reported that Phytophthora austrocedrae, a fungus parallel with juniper berry cancer, has been spotted on the fruit’s bushes in northern Britain, primarily in the Lakes District and Scotland. Juniper berries are a key component in gin’s fresh flavor.

The fungus has already affected between 60 and 70 percent of the juniper population in southern England, so it’s crucial to try to save the plants in the north. Though the article states that most commercial gin now comes from Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom has had an infatuation with gin since the Gin Craze occurred in 18th century London. According to the British History Channel’s website, by 1730, around 10 million gallons of gin were being distilled in London each year, and the average city-dweller drank 14 gallons of gin a year. The UK will need to find a quick solution to kill of the fungus and protect its precious berries.


The UK could be about to suffer a gin shortage

It was the eloquent Noël Coward who recommended that "a perfect martini should be made by filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy".

And now UK gin lovers might soon be taking heed and carting their empty glasses toward the Mediterranean to sate their thirst, as Scotland's juniper stash is in a 'critical state'.

Juniper, the small coniferous plant, is the primary flavouring of the middle classes' preferred clear spirit - with Scotland a key supplier for several UK gin makers.

A new citizen study on the health of juniper by the Plantlife organisation shows that up to 79 per cent of the plants surveyed in 2014 was either "mature, dead or old" - and it's not just gin lovers at risk.

"Juniper has already been lost from a quarter of areas where it was previously found. Juniper is important, not just for its cultural value, but also because it provides food for wildlife such as the juniper shield bug - a key native invertebrate, important cover for game bird and shelter for stock," writes Plantlife.

A deadly fungal disease, Phytophthora austrocedrae, is thought to be the cause for much of the juniper's woes, with head of Plantlife Scotland Deborah Long suggesting immediate conservation action.

As for gin supplies, expect those Scot-sourcing UK manufacturers to go looking further afield for their juniper supplies - with potential shortages or price hikes a likely knock-on.


Re-gin-eration: what’s behind the botanical spirit boom?

Age: Oh, you know, 900 years old, or something.

Appearance: Crystal clear.

Ingredients: Water, alcohol, juniper berries, a little of what you fancy.

I fancy vodka. Well, gin is basically just vodka flavoured with botanicals.

What are botanicals? Flavourings.

Oh. Besides juniper, people sometimes use lemon peel, coriander, aniseed, caraway, dill, rose .

I get the picture. Gin’s origins are obscure, but it almost certainly began as jenever in the medieval Low Countries. By the 18th century, it was big in Britain – too big, in fact, leading to London’s deadly gin craze. That was controlled by licensing laws, but now gin is back, baby!

Evidence, please. According to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, sales of gin are expected to exceed £1bn in Britain this year 49 distilleries opened last year alone. There are now more than twice as many distilleries as there were in 2010, when the government changed rules that made it difficult for craft gin-makers to set up shop.

Sorry, did you say “craft gin”? I did indeed. It’s the next trendy thing after craft beer, with prices similar to posh whisky. Gin is having a moment, you see, perhaps even a movement.

But how can gin be trendy? I thought it was incredibly old-fashioned, the sort of thing drunk by sozzled colonels and their memsahibs? Yeah, but old-fashioned is trendy now, haven’t you noticed? That’s why people like beards, battered industrial furniture and naming their children Horace and Edna.

I have noticed that people on the internet always list gin among their hobbies, along with cats, cake and tea. Precisely. What could be more sophisticated than ironic quaintness? Plus, gin is nice.

What? I thought you told me it was having a moment? It is, but so is Phytophthora austrocedri, a fungus-like pathogen that is killing Scottish juniper trees. It was first detected in Britain in 2011.

So, this pathogen likes the taste of juniper even more than hipsters do? It actually attacks the roots, but yes. In a few years, any distillers wanting to use domestic juniper berries might have trouble finding any.

So, there might be a shortage of locally foraged craft gin? I fear so. Try not to spread panic.

Do say: “Ice and a slice?”

Don’t say: “Slow-frozen wild glacier crystals and unwaxed Sicilian lemon?”


Why grapes make a better gin

Aside from its role in the history of gin, another reason we use grape is for the taste and texture. Grape is more aromatic and flavoursome, and delivers a fruity silky smoothness and a softer mouth-feel than grain. So the real question should probably be: why do some gin makers insist on using grain today?

Records from the 1400s tell us that because of a big wine shortage, gin makers switched to grain and never switched back. Even now, grain is less expensive and easier to work with. That might be the case, but we think it’s worth putting in some extra graft to create an exquisite gin from grapes, don’t you?

Grapes are great, in our opinion. We prefer the flavour that grape spirit imparts to our gin and the way it interacts with our seven beautiful botanicals . Plus, we’re a sucker for classical methods, and like to honour them where we can. So for us, it’s gotta be grape.

Of course, the pursuit of perfection inevitably throws us some challenges. Making gin from grapes means we have to contend and plan carefully for seasonal depletions in stock, high prices and supplier difficulties. Also, botanicals can react a little unpredictably when using grapes as opposed to grain.

Fortunately for you Sing Gins sippers, we know that nothing worth drinking comes easy. Despite the hiccups, we love the grape-based life!


Brexit ɼould Cause A Gin Shortage In UK'

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but it seems that our beloved beverage, the humble gin and tonic, is under threat.

The Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) has warned the UK of a serious gin drought if the dreaded 'no-deal' Brexit scenario becomes a reality.

The scenario, which predicts severe shortages in food and medicine within just two weeks of leaving the European Union, would have a massive impact on the amount of juniper berries British distillers are supplied with.

There are currently over 300 gin distilleries in the UK, many of which heavily rely on imported juniper berries from the Mediterranean.

Dan Szor, founder of the Cotswold Distillery in Stourton, told the Evening Standard: "Without juniper there is no gin. Juniper grows wild and the success of the harvest is very much weather dependent.

"If we have a bad season and distillers are being forced to stockpile, I can see a juniper war kicking off."

And it's not just juniper either. Many of your other favourite botanicals such as orange peel, liquorice and angelica root are too under threat.

It's just all too much to take in - what cruel world are we living in here?

Chief Executive of the WSTA said a no-deal Brexit reality could have a 'catastrophic' impact, especially for smaller, independent distilleries and could lead to a 'shortage or even wipe out of your favourite gin'.

He told the paper: "The British gin industry is a great example of a booming trade that could be severely hampered if the so-called 'Brexit Armageddon' scenario strikes."

With more than 55 million bottles of gin sold last year, according to the WSTA's latest market report, the possibility of a shortage will affect booze cabinets everywhere. Anybody fancy a. tonic?


How to grow key gin ingredient and help tackle British juniper shortage with help from Portobello Road Gin

The good news is you can all easily grow your own gin ingredients in the garden.

The bad news is there is a shortage of the key ingredient, British juniper - but you can help.

Notting Hill &aposs Portobello Road Gin is giving away a free juniper sapling with every purchase of a 75cl limited edition gift-wrapped bottle this summer, to encourage gin lovers to grow their own juniper in their back garden.

Alongside a free juniper plant, they have also provided advice on how to grow them.

Self-proclaimed plant killers will be glad to hear that, once planted, there is not much TLC required to grow the valuable little juniper berries.

Read More
Related Articles

To make it just that bit easier, we have put together a step-by-step video guide so you can&apost possibly go wrong.

How to grow juniper

The gin producer has teamed up with gardening expert and author of ‘How to Grow Stuff’, Alice Vincent, who has provided the following advice:

  • Ensure the soil is well-draining to ensure the plant grows in a wide range of temperatures.
  • It can be planted all year round.
  • The plant can be grown in a large pot or in the garden but make sure there are no weeds or other plants in the same area.

Read More
Related Articles

And once planted, you can expect your plant to live up to 170-years-old!

Why should I grow my own juniper?

Firstly, does anyone need an excuse to start growing the key gin ingredient in their back garden?

Secondly, there could be a unique bottle of gin in it for you, as once the bushes have harvested their first berries, growers are encouraged to send them in to The Distillery.

The berries will then be used in the copper still to make a unique British juniper distillate, which growers can use to make their own unique bottle of gin to take home.

Thirdly, and most importantly, apart from enjoying a glass of gin and tonic there is a serious reason behind all of this.

Read More
Related Articles

Juniper has suffered a sharp decline in Britain since 2004, with research on Scottish juniper by the woodland conservation charity Plantlife finding young plants and seedlings are in a minority as disease is killing them off whilst old, dead types of the plant are too high in number.

Low economic and cultural value of the plant alongside poor recovery of remnant populations are other reasons which are said to be behind the decline.

Portobello Road Gin’s brand director Tom Coates said: "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 & fragmented populations".

"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."

Keep up to date with the latest news in west London via the free getwestlondon app.

You can set up your app to see all the latest news and events from your area, plus receive push notifications for breaking news.


Possible gin shortage alert!

Brace yourselves: the UK may be facing a gin shortage.

The beloved G&T could be in grave danger because, sadly, the plant essential to the production of gin &ndash juniper &ndash is being hit by a disease.

Scotland is thought to have the UK&rsquos best juniper, but a study from conservation charity Plantlife said the plant is now in a &lsquocritical state&rsquo, due to the spread of a deadly fungal disease: phytophthora austrocedrae.

The State of Scotland&rsquos Juniper in 2015 report revealed that 79% of juniper recorded in 2014 was either mature, dead or old &ndash with many plants being over a century old &ndash which further limits the plant&rsquos ability to seed.

The disease has only been found in Argentina and Britain, though it is not yet certain how it materialised.

Thankfully, most gin producers in the UK import juniper from Europe, but if you are a Gordon&rsquos devotee, you might want to stock up. Now.


Gin production at risk from juniper crisis

Junpier berry stocks in Scotland have faced a number of threats recently with booming rabbit and vole populations taking their toll on plants that are already suffering from “old age”. Many juniper trees are more than 100 years old and this new fungal disease threat means that 45% of Scottish trees are at risk of being wiped out, according to research published by the Forestry Commission Scotland.

Plantlife Scotland has asked the public to help, by taking part in a survey, which will help determine the health of the juniper bush.

In a statement, Planlife Scotland said: “Juniper is in serious trouble. One of only three native conifers in Britain, not only does it face a deadly fungal disease (Phytophthora austrocedrae) it has also disappeared from over a third of Britain where it was previously found.

“Juniper with its blueish green needles and green or black berries is easy to identify. We are asking people to help us by completing a survey form every time they see Juniper in Scotland. If however you notice any orange or brown bushes, there may be a risk of infection by Phytophthora austrocedrae.

“If this happens people should document this on their survey form but ensure they do not walk around the area and clean mud thoroughly from their boots and equipment.”

Much of the juniper used in gin production now comes from Eastern Europe, with London gin producers Sipsmith use juniper berries from Macedonia.

Carl Reavey, of Bruichladdich distillery on Islay, which produces The Botanist gin, told the Daily Mail: “There is very, very little juniper left on Islay and the vast majority of what we use comes from Italy.”


Lord have mercy because juniper plants (used to make gin) are dying out

A recent study has found that juniper plants are being killed off by a fungal disease called phytophthora austrocedrae.

Worst. News. Ever.

Data collected by Plantlife found the Scottish plant is in rapid decline due to the bushes failing to produce seeds.

Juniper – distinctive for its greeny-blue needles and dark blue berries – has been growing in Scottish mountainous regions for thousands of years.

If the bush is infected with the fungus, it turns orange and then brown.

Phytophthora austrocedrae has only ever been reported in the UK and Argentina, according to Plantlife.

Devastating news for G&T drinkers as 63 per cent of the Scottish bushes surveyed were found to have brown patches, while 79 per cent were either mature, old or worse – dead.

The decline of juniper bushes is also bad news for birds and other wildlife who use them for shelter.


Grow your own gin and help tackle the British juniper shortage with Notting Hill's Portobello Road Gin

With British juniper plant numbers falling, west London&aposs very own gin hotel is encouraging gin enthusiasts to get green-fingered in an attempt to help preserve the plant.

Any enthusiast of the spirit will know juniper is a key ingredient in gin , but it appears our beloved beverage could be under threat as the plant has suffered a sharp decline in Britain since 2004.

Research on Scottish juniper by the woodland conservation charity Plantlife has found young juniper plants and seedlings are in a minority as disease is killing off the plants, and old, dead types of the plant are too high in number.

Other reasons said to be behind the decline include a low economic and cultural value of the plant, compared to in the past, alongside poor recovery of remnant populations. This is because pollination of isolated bushes can be difficult as juniper has separate male and female plants.

Read More
Related Articles

Notting Hill &aposs Portobello Road Gin to the rescue.

"We want to help get the foundation of the nation’s favourite spirit back on track"

"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 & fragmented populations," says Portobello Road Gin’s brand director, Tom Coates.

He added: "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."

The brand, which is behind Notting Hill&aposs gin hotel, The Distillery, is giving away free juniper saplings to each gin lover that purchases a 75cl limited edition gift-wrapped bottle this summer, to encourage gin lovers to grow their own juniper at home.

Teaming up with gardening expert and author of ‘How to Grow Stuff’, Alice Vincent, advice is being provided to aspiring juniper growers.

Read More
Related Articles

Alice Vincent said: "As modern life gets ever faster our desire to slow down, escape our screens and reconnect with nature just gets stronger.

"Growing stuff is a great way to switch off and get outdoors, and juniper is an easy, tolerant plant to inspire green fingers.

"Whether you&aposve been gardening for a while or are a complete beginner, we&aposre calling for gin fans to get out in the garden and to help preserve the future of our nation’s favourite tipple!"

Read More
Related Articles

How do I grow juniper?

Alice has provided a few top tips on how to grow juniper:

  • Ensure the soil is well-draining to ensure the plant grows in a wide range of tempertures. First-timers, or self-proclaimed plant killers will be glad to hear, once planted, there is not much TLC required.
  • It can be planted all year round.
  • The plant can be grown in a large pot or in the garden, just make sure there are no weeds or other plants in the same area.
  • Dig a hole in the compost, double the size of the rootball, and tease out the roots of the plant before popping the ball into the compost hole.
  • Give the plant a good drink of water.
  • During the first two weeks, the plant will need watering two to three times a week, then leave it alone.
  • Wait for the plant to start producing the key gin ingredient - juniper berries!

Once planted, each bush could live to the grand old age of 170!

And once the bushes have harvested their first berries, growers are encouraged to send them in to The Distillery, where they will be used in the copper still to make a unique British juniper distillate, which growers will be able to use to make their own unique bottle of gin.

Keep up to date with the latest news in west London via the free getwestlondon app.

You can set up your app to see all the latest news and events from your area, plus receive push notifications for breaking news.


Watch the video: More bad news in 2020 - Scotlands gin industry threatend by juniper disease (August 2022).