Our Gin

The Spirit Of Shakespeare
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QVARTO IS MADE FROM BOTANICALS THAT FEATURE IN THE PLAYS AND POEMS OF SHAKESPEARE — AND ONLY THOSE BOTANICALS. IT’S AS SIMPLE AS THAT. BUT… WELL, THIS IS SHAKESPEARE. SO, IT’S ALSO AS DRAMATIC, SURPRISING AND PACKED FULL OF CHARACTER AS THAT TOO.

CHARACTER IS QUALITY

All Shakespeare’s plays are driven by a uniquely rich cast of Characters. In Qvarto too you might meet Flavours and Botanicals you’ve never encountered before — but, just as in the Plays, it’s the balance and timing of their play that really Delights. How they enter, exit and linger on the palate.

With sweet, floral Aromas ushering in the rippling Flourish of Apple, and the blooming Zest of Orange leading to the hot lingering aftertaste of Peppercorn — every moment of Qvarto is Dramatic, yet balanced. Characterful, yet elegant.

AN ELITE GIN FOR EVERYONE

From the Groundlings to the Gods the universality of Shakespeare was a major inspiration for our Founder Jason Thomas. Jason wanted a Gin that, like the best of the Bard, would bring Quality, Excellence and Delight to everyone. Qvarto is that Gin. A dramatic blend that will Delight both connoisseurs and novices.

CORIANDER – AND THE QUEST FOR QVARTO

Holding ourselves strictly to Spices named by the Bard challenged our preconceptions about Gin's taste and Modernity. It expanded our Creativity and sent us in fascinating new directions. We love that. So — we chose not to use Coriander, usually a key ingredient in Gin, because it was not mentioned by Shakespeare in his Works.

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THIS IS THE ONLY GIN I HAVE DEVELOPED THAT DOES NOT USE CORIANDER. WE CREATED A REALLY NUANCED AND BALANCED TASTE EXPERIENCE THAT WORKS BEAUTIFULLY.

OUR MASTER DISTILLER AND FLAVORIST

The Experience
ON THE NOSE

“So Perfumed that the air is Lovesick”. 

This bottle makes an Angel, the stage is set: a sweet breath of Rose, the dew of rosemary, the Provocation of pepper… 

IN THE MOUTH

“With thy Tongue's tune Delighted”. 

Sweet virtuous apple, a Flourish of Fragrant orange and Zesty lemon, the Desire of lingering rose petals…

TO FINISH

“Come give us Taste of your Quality, come, a Passionate speech”. 

Thus with the warm Passionate kiss of pepper, the ling’ring flavours dance their vibrant Jig upon the palette and we are left longing for the next Performance… Encore!

THE BOTANICALS

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Apple
THE BOTANICAL’S ORIGINS
DID YOU KNOW…

…that in Shakespeare’s time ‘apple’ was also a generic name used for any fruit?  It was the same in many Latin languages. That’s why in French potato is pomme de terre (apple of the earth) and tomato, thought to be an aphrodisiac, pomme d’amour, (love apple, still used in English too.) 

So, when Shakespeare or the St James’ Bible speak of the Forbidden Fruit, and the Apple of Temptation, well… they probably meant Quince. Or Orange? Or Lemon? (You decide!)

WHAT THE BARD SAYS

But heaven in thy creation did decree
That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;
Whate'er thy thoughts, or thy heart's workings be,
Thy looks should nothing thence, but sweetness tell.
How like Eve's apple doth thy beauty grow,
If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show.

SONNET 93
AUDIO READING
AUDIO READING
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Rose
THE BOTANICAL’S ORIGINS
DID YOU KNOW…

…that roses were so valued in Shakespeare’s time that in 1576 Queen Elizabeth’s Lord Chancellor paid yearly rent of ‘a Red Rose, ten loads of hay, and ten pounds per annum’ to live in Ely Place palace in Holborn? 

He also had to reserve the sitting tenant ‘the right of gathering twenty bushels of Roses yearly’. Symbols of might, monarchy and mortality, roses are mentioned more often than any other flower in Shakespeare’s works. (Bloomin’ ’eck.)

WHAT THE BARD SAYS

O how much more doth beauty beauteous seem,
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour, which doth in it live:

SONNET 54
AUDIO READING
AUDIO READING
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Orange
THE BOTANICAL’S ORIGINS
DID YOU KNOW…

…the first orange tree recorded in England was planted in 1595 at Beddington in Surrey — from seeds brought into the country from Versailles by Sir Walter Raleigh? 

Whilst the Elizabethans loved oranges though they would have been horrified at the idea of eating them raw. They were used almost exclusively for deserts, marmalades and ‘as sauce for many sorts of meats, in respect of the sweet sourness giving a relish and delight whereinsoever they are used’ (quoted in Henry Nicholson Ellacombe’s ‘The plant-lore & garden-craft of Shakespeare’).

WHAT THE BARD SAYS

BEATRICE

The count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry, nor
well; but civil count, civil as an orange, and
something of that jealous complexion.

DON PEDRO

I' faith, lady, I think your blazon to be true;
though, I'll be sworn, if he be so, his conceit is
false. Here, Claudio, I have wooed in thy name, and
fair Hero is won: I have broke with her father,
and his good will obtained: name the day of
marriage, and God give thee joy!

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING — ACT II, SCENE I. A HALL IN LEONATO'S HOUSE.
AUDIO READING
AUDIO READING
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Rosemary
THE BOTANICAL’S ORIGINS
DID YOU KNOW…

…that the eternally aromatic Rosemary, native to the Mediterranean, symbolized Remembrance? (‘it is the custom in France to put a branch of Rosemary in the hands of the dead when in the coffin, when the coffins have been opened after several years, the plant has been found to have vegetated so much that the leaves have covered the corpse’ — Valmont Bomare, 1760, Histoire Naturelle.) 

Rosemary was loved and ubiquitous in Elizabethan kitchen gardens and grown as a medicine too. In 1629 England’s first great botanist, John Parkinson praised it as useful ‘inwardly for the head and heart, outwardly for the sinews and joynts; for civile uses, as all do know, at weddings, funerals, &c., & to bestow among friends’ (from his Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris, or Park-in-Sun's Terrestrial Paradise, 1629.)

WHAT THE BARD SAYS

[To POLIXENES]
Sir, welcome:
It is my father's will I should take on me
The hostess-ship o' the day.

[To CAMILLO]
You're welcome, sir.
Give me those flowers there, Dorcas. Reverend sirs,
For you there's rosemary and rue; these keep
Seeming and savour all the winter long:
Grace and remembrance be to you both,
And welcome to our shearing!

PERDITA, A WINTER'S TALE, ACT IV SCENE IV BOHEMIA. A SHEPHERD’S COTTAGE.
AUDIO READING
AUDIO READING
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Lemon
THE BOTANICAL’S ORIGINS
DID YOU KNOW…

…that lemons originally came from Asia, were traded to the Romans in the second century AD and then were finally cultivated en masse in Europe in the middle of the 15th century, in Genoa? 

Speaking of Genoa, they were introduced, lucratively, into the New World American colonies which so inspired Shakespeare in 1493 — by a man often called Xpoual de Colon. 

You may know him as Christopher Columbus, but that’s another story…

WHAT THE BARD SAYS

ADRIANO DE ARMADO
The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,
Gave Hector a gift,--

DUMAIN
A gilt nutmeg.

BIRON
A lemon.

LONGAVILLE
Stuck with cloves.

DUMAIN
No, cloven.

LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST, ACT V, SC. 2. THE KING OF NAVARRE’S PARK.
AUDIO READING
AUDIO READING
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Pepper
THE BOTANICAL’S ORIGINS
DID YOU KNOW…

...that the first Guild of Pepperers was established in England in 1180 to carefully monitor quality and measures? Peppercorns were so expensive (and relished!) that they were accepted as payment in lieu of cash for dowries, taxes and rent. 

WHAT THE BARD SAYS

HOTSPUR
Come, Kate, I'll have your song too.

LADY PERCY
Not mine, in good sooth.

HOTSPUR
Not yours, in good sooth! Heart! you swear like a
comfit-maker's wife. 'Not you, in good sooth,' and
'as true as I live,' and 'as God shall mend me,' and
'as sure as day,'
And givest such sarcenet surety for thy oaths,
As if thou never walk'st further than Finsbury.
Swear me, Kate, like a lady as thou art,
A good mouth-filling oath, and leave 'in sooth,'
And such protest of pepper-gingerbread,
To velvet-guards and Sunday-citizens.
Come, sing.

LADY PERCY
I will not sing.

HOTSPUR
'Tis the next way to turn tailor, or be red-breast
teacher. An the indentures be drawn, I'll away
within these two hours; and so, come in when ye will.

Exit

SONNET 93
AUDIO READING
AUDIO READING
Close X
Juniper
THE BOTANICAL’S ORIGINS
DID YOU KNOW…

…that in Shakespeare’s time ‘apple’ was also a generic name used for any fruit?  It was the same in many Latin languages. That’s why in French potato is pomme de terre (apple of the earth) and tomato, thought to be an aphrodisiac, pomme d’amour, (love apple, still used in English too.) 

So, when Shakespeare or the St James’ Bible speak of the Forbidden Fruit, and the Apple of Temptation, well… they probably meant Quince. Or Orange? Or Lemon? (You decide!)

WHAT THE BARD SAYS

But heaven in thy creation did decree
That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;
Whate'er thy thoughts, or thy heart's workings be,
Thy looks should nothing thence, but sweetness tell.
How like Eve's apple doth thy beauty grow,
If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show.

SONNET 93
AUDIO READING
AUDIO READING
Close X
Iris
THE BOTANICAL’S ORIGINS
DID YOU KNOW…

…that in Shakespeare’s time ‘apple’ was also a generic name used for any fruit?  It was the same in many Latin languages. That’s why in French potato is pomme de terre (apple of the earth) and tomato, thought to be an aphrodisiac, pomme d’amour, (love apple, still used in English too.) 

So, when Shakespeare or the St James’ Bible speak of the Forbidden Fruit, and the Apple of Temptation, well… they probably meant Quince. Or Orange? Or Lemon? (You decide!)

WHAT THE BARD SAYS

But heaven in thy creation did decree
That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;
Whate'er thy thoughts, or thy heart's workings be,
Thy looks should nothing thence, but sweetness tell.
How like Eve's apple doth thy beauty grow,
If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show.

SONNET 93
AUDIO READING
AUDIO READING

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