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Gatwick targets premium gin market with unique on-site distillery and bar

Published:  02 March, 2016

Gatwick's North Terminal has opened what is believed to be the world's first on-site airport gin distillery and bar.

The Nicholas Culpeper is a joint venture between The Restaurant Group and Gatwick Airport.

The gin itself is a London Dry Gin made with botanicals including lemongrass, cassia bark, cloves, cardamom and Angelica root.

It is distilled daily in batches of up to 12 litres, and each bottle carries the batch number, date of distillation and the signature of the distiller.

Nicholas Culpeper Gin is the creation of master distiller Matthew Servini.

"The gin is far punchier and interesting than a lot of other premium gins," Servini told London's Evening Standard.

"It's been great overseeing this project ? I felt like a mad scientist or Willy Wonka."

Nick Ayerst, managing director of The Restaurant Group, said: "We never really believed that it would be possible to distil gin in an airport.

"'The teamwork and tenacity to create and deliver The Nicholas Culpeper has been unlike anything I've ever known before.

"I really can't wait to open the doors to our guests and see their reaction to this truly unique dining offering."

A 70cl bottle of Nicholas Culpeper Gin will have an rrp of £25.

A single shot at the landside terminal bar will cost £3.95 and a double, £5.95.

A double gin and tonic served with a rosemary and cassia bark garnish will be priced at £7.50.

Premium gin sales at the airport have quadrupled in the last four years.

The gin is named after the 17th century botanist and physician, Nicholas Culpeper, whose 1653 Complete Herbal was a key stepping stone towards modern attitudes to medicine.

The Restaurant Group owns and operates over 500 casual dining restaurants and pubs across the UK under a range of brands including Chiquito, Frankie & Benny's, Garfunkel's and Joe's Kitchen.

It also has over 60 concessions outlets, primarily in UK airports.