Beekeepers turn hands to gin with The Apiarist

The Apiarist gin bottle

A beekeeping couple from England have found a novel use for their surplus honey with new gin The Apiarist.

Created by husband and wife team Alex and Natalie Conti, the honey-infused gin has made its way into venues across the West Midlands.

The Contis commissioned a local craftsman to extend their home apiary during the first Covid-19 lockdown in England, a project to help them spend more time outdoors with their young children.

The Conti family with their beehives
The Conti family

As a result of the expansion, the couple was left with a few kilograms of surplus honey – and decided to try and make some gin with it. Partnering with the local Greywood Distillery, makers fo Fifth Spire gin, they created the debut batch of The Apiarist gin.

Well received by individual customers and hospitality venues, Alex and Natalie say their gin delivers rich, sweet notes of honey with balanced vibrant lemon and dry tea flavours.

Gin making has allowed them to fill a brief hiatus in the operations of their main business, which specialises in making travel arrangements for international art institutions and has been hit by travel bans imposed during the pandemic. 

Alex said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have developed a gin that is infused with our own raw honey, bringing the unique character of that golden nectar into a more ‘adult’ setting. As our bees forage around the Lichfield countryside, we are proud to know that some of that goodness is going towards making the perfect gin and tonic. 

“We’ve been buying Fifth Spire gin for years, so rather than setting up our own distillery at home, we got in touch with them. They were really excited to create something new and different using our honey, and we’re extremely happy to have brought this to market together.”

The Apiarist beehive
The beehive behind The Apiarist

Natalie added: “It’s been a blessing to be able to work on something new and exciting whilst spending more time with the children and it’s provided a positive distraction for us as a family. The whole experience has been a great way to teach the kids about nature – we’ve boosted the bee population and also had a bit of fun with gin.”

Due to the ongoing success of The Apiarist since its launch in October, Alex and Natalie have plans to create a new batch of gin in the spring, which will be inspired by another one of their hobbies: foraging.

The Apiarist is stocked in multiple bars and restaurants across Lichfield and Birmingham including The Spirit Works, 55 Wade Street, Swinfen Hall, The Boat Inn, The Trooper, Harborne Kitchen, Peel’s at Hampton Manor and Michelin-starred Purnell’s. If you want to get your hands on a bottle during the national lockdown, it’s also available from The Apiarist gin website.

See our Gin Magazine tasters’ verdicts on more honey-flavoured gins here.

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