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Geraldine Kavanagh
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Video: Meet Geraldine Kavanagh – forager for Glendalough Irish Gin

July 18, 2023

At a recent tasting event, I had the chance to meet with renowned full-time distillery forager, Geraldine Kavanagh to celebrate the standout new bottle design for Glendalough Irish Gin, inspired by this unique story of people and place.

From the foot of the bottle, the wild botanicals that Geraldine forages grow and are beautifully embossed around the bottle reflecting the ingredients such as sorrel, elderflower and fir that create the distinct notes of Glendalough Wild Botanical Irish Gin. Amongst the bottle’s embossed botanicals, reverent nods to Glendalough’s ancient past can also be found including the Monastery Archway, Seven Churches and Deer Stone, further evoking the profound sense of place of Glendalough.

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What makes this gin of particular interest is that it is made from wild plants which are sustainably foraged by Geraldine from the Wicklow mountains around the Glendalough distillery. Everything goes into the still within hours of foraging, and since they forage seasonally, the final product takes months to produce.

Glendalough Irish Gin

Glendalough Wild Botanical Irish Gin is now available.

This method, Geraldine explained, imparts the gin with a sense of terroir, an intriguing concept one usually hears in relation to wine. The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘terroir’ as: the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate; the characteristic taste and flavor imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced.

Another aspect that distinguishes Glendalough apart from many other gins is that it is truly hand-crafted. In fact, only a handful of people are involved in the production of this spirit. The care and dedication of those involved is clearly tasted in the final product.

If you like gin, this one is complex, with many more flavours than the typical juniper berry, which is unsurprising considering the number of local herbs and flowers that go into it. If you don’t typically enjoy gin, you may want to give this one a try simply because it’s so unique.

Learn more about Geraldine and her foraging by watching my interview with her below. We chatted as she was out in the countryside, and you’ll see some of the flowers that she’s picked for next year’s gin.


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