The new gin has seen a partnership between the intercity operator and The Forest Distillery, which is based in a 17th Century barn in the stunning Peak District National Park and is run by husband and wife team Karl and Lindsay Bond. The gin has been named ‘Forest to First’.
The special gin has been created as part of Avanti West Coast’s ongoing commitment to providing a responsibly sourced menu, which reduces the rail operator’s impact on the environment whilst showcasing the products made along its routes.
Karl and Lindsay originally started out home distilling small batches of spirits from their kitchen table before becoming The Forest Distillery. Their specialist skills and expertise made them a perfect match to work with Avanti West Coast in creating a tailor-made product which celebrates local ingredients and even sees a nod to the local wildlife on the bottles design which features a weasel.
The gin’s flavour has been produced using berries and botanicals foraged from Macclesfield Forest, which have then been distilled with water from a local ancient natural spring.
First Class customers travelling on Avanti West Coast’s route can enjoy the refreshing drink on their journey as part of the complimentary food and drink offerings onboard.
The Forest Distillery created two new positions due to the collaborative gin to enable production.
Avanti West Coast’s First Class Lounge at London Euston will also serve the distillery’s award-winning Forest Gin which is served in distinctively designed bottles which were handmade in Stoke-on-Trent by Wade Ceramics.
Philippa Creswell, Executive Director of Onboard at Avanti West Coast, said:
“We want to champion small local producers as they’re innovative and passionate about what they do. Working with producers in the communities we serve gives us an opportunity to showcase the brilliant produce and quality products nearby to our route while supporting our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint. We’re sure our customers will agree when they’re sat back with a refreshing glass of Forest to First, enjoying the scenery at 125mph.”
Karl Bond, Co-founder of Forest Distillery Ltd, said:
“We are so proud to have been asked to distil this gin exclusively for Avanti West Coast customers. As a family business, it is incredible to see our products served within First Class. The team at Avanti West Coast have been lovely to work with, and the resulting gin in the bottle is of an exceptional standard.”