Herb Pillow Gin

We’re super excited to be introducing August’s Innovations Club release, Herb Pillow Gin!

Full of flowery delights, this gin is distilled with earthy herbs and punchy citrus – they cut through those perfume-y florals, and even if we do say so ourselves, we’ve created a well-balanced gin that’s bloomin’ delicious!

Influenced by an Elizabethan Herb Pillow from the late 1500’s, we were taken by its selection of fragrant herbs and dried flowers. The textile is part of the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection, held at Gawthrope Hall, and we’ve enjoyed exploring its history with Gawthorpe Textiles Collection Director, Charlotte and Charity Fundraiser, Christina to bring you this bright, light and refreshing gin.

The Herb Pillow Textile Collection

This embroidered pillow is one of the earliest pieces in the collection. It is worked in silk and metal purl on linen with spangles and metal lace edging. It is not known who stitched this piece, though it is one of two items in the collection potentially connected to the court of Queen Elizabeth I. The design features traditional British wildflowers such as daffodil, honeysuckle, columbine, pink and pea pods, as well as bird, a butterfly, snail, caterpillar. Herb pillows were designed to hold a selection of fragrant herbs and dried flowers which when taken to bed could help with sleeplessness. They could also be used to fragrance or to keep away insects from clothes in drawers.
Donor – Alice Hall Esq, Burnley.

Find out more about the Collections here.

Gawthorpe Textiles Collection (GTC)

GTC is the operating name of independent museum and registered charity The Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth Textile Collections.

Since its establishment in 1959, the charity has existed to deliver its powerful founding vision focused on education, public access to the collection for all and the promotion of wellbeing.GTC operates from the Gawthorpe Hall estate in Padiham, Lancashire; family home to founder Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth MBE (1886- 1967), a life long collector of global textile and craft items. Rachel was a prolific lace maker and embroiderer. She was also a philanthropist who devoted her life to actively improving the social welfare of the communities on her doorstep.

The label artwork

LadyJane worked her magic on this month’s label creating not one, but four designs (we know this might play havoc with our gin collectors – sorry!). Being sure to capture the wildlife and intricate details of the Herb Pillow we knew a single design wouldn’t do this artwork justice.
LadyJane said “I wanted people to see the beautiful detail of the embroidery, so I decided to produce four labels, focusing on the different creatures and flowers. It was a pleasure to have such a stunning piece of art to use for the label.”

Herb Pillow Gin

Upon seeing the Herb Pillow textile, Distiller, Ryan was inspired by bright wildflowers and fragrant herbs, and he went on to distil a solid recipe, nailing it first time. Creating a gin full of vibrant notes, Herb Pillow Gin is made up of:
Lemon Balm
Lemon Verbena
Rose Petals

Ryan said “As well as a combination of floral botanicals, I wanted to use hops – typically found in herb pillows, I knew it would add a depth to this gin, honing in on the citrusy orange and lemon I had chosen. Some of the perfumed botanicals I wanted in the botanical mix were less in your face because of the hops and I wanted to create a summer drink for all to enjoy!”.

Perfect Serve

Pour 50ml of Herb Pillow Gin over ice, top with rhubarb and raspberry tonic and garnish with thyme and lemon.

Pillow Talk

To make this stunning cocktail, you’ll need:

50ml Herb Pillow Gin
Juice of half a lemon
Juice of half an orange
One bar spoon of simple syrup
25ml Elderflower liqueur
1 egg white
Pinch of salt
Edible flowers for garnish

Pour the gin, lemon juice, orange juice, simple syrup, and elderflower liqueur into a shaker.
Add the egg white and a sprinkle of salt (this heightens the citrus flavours!)
Add a generous handful of ice and shake vigorously for 45 seconds, or until frothy.
Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with edible flowers.

Need August’s gin and not a member of our Innovations Club? Become a member now and get £10 off your first month here.