The Stafford family is as rooted in County Wexford as the harvest they lovingly produce. They are potato growers, famed for the quality and consistency of their crops. Theirs is the proud heritage of a humble staple and now that has produced another yield – premium, locally sourced, locally distilled spirits. “The idea for a gin first came three years ago,” John Stafford says. “Our day job is growing potatoes, so we looked at other ways we could use them. We settled on potato gin. It is quite unique.” That it certainly is as at the time of writing this we searched and could not find one other potato gin out there that was not Poitin!
Their Jackford Gin is nothing like poitín and doesn’t taste of potatoes (!), but it does have a very different and attractive texture and soft flavour. “We had a tasting panel of 10 people tasting away for three months, and we ended up with 11 botanicals.” These include juniper, liquorice root, angelica, black peppercorns, orris root, cassia, bitter orange, strawberry, gooseberry, rosemary and basil. The potatoes used are Roosters, hence the cockerel on the label. Wexford is also famous for its strawberries. Three years after producing their first gin, they were looking forward to creating a product that built on the original gin, that also took on flavours associated with Wexford itself too. Thus, Jackford Strawberry Gin was born.
The company are based in Enniscorthy. First, they create a PNS – a Potato Neutral Spirit and then the magic happens. They then add the high-level quality botanicals with strawberries being the very last botanical added at the end, so they retain their freshness.
Sisters, Karen and Natalie Keane are based in the Wexford countryside, where they make their own Fair Trade chocolate under their company name, Bean and Goose. For the month that’s in it, they created a ‘Totally Love Collection’. Their chocolate is some of the best in Ireland. The flavours we are including is Milk Smoky Salt and a Dark Umami seaweed, yum! Their unusual-but-delicious flavour combinations really set them apart from their competitors and we also adore their very cool packaging by illustrator Aran Quinn.
Natalie Keane – “The inspiration for most of what we do comes from the Wexford countryside. It has definitely inspired our flavours. We look outside and see first-hand what is in season and available to work with. The colours of Wexford and Ireland can be seen in the Bean and Goose packaging, from the blues and greens of the landscape to the pink of an evening sky.”
Enjoy this months all Irish box, from all of us at TheGinBox.ie
Liquorice Root, Angelica, Black Peppercorn, Orris Root, Cassia Bark, Basil, Gooseberry, Bitter Orange, Rosemary