Durham Cathedral – Monk’s Gin

11th December 2023

Durham Cathedral has launched a new gin, rooted in its rich heritage and inspired by the very botanicals the monks would have used in their 14th and 15th-century recipes.

Durham creates new gin – just in time for Christmas

Called Monks’ Gin, it has been made in partnership with the local Durham Distillery just in time for Christmas and has flavours of pear and citrus, spiced with pepper and cinnamon. 

Hannah Ellis, Head of Enterprise at Durham Cathedral said:

“We’re delighted to have been able to make this product just in time for Christmas. The team working on it have taken inspiration from this historic place and the Monks who once lived here to develop something truly unique. 

The old distillery, known as the Gin Still, was located on the site of the cathedral’s infirmary and remains today in the Works Yard, now home to Durham Cathedral’s stonemasons and joiners.

The site, once used by monks to make alcohol, was visited by Durham Distillery, who then used botanicals from the centuries-old records to create a new gin recipe

Said Hannah:

“Knowing that there was a distillery on site and that the Monks would have distilled their own alcohol, as well as having records of their ingredients and recipes, was an opportunity to celebrate this part of the cathedral’s history.  

“It was an added bonus that we had a local distillery just down the road who was equally as excited to collaborate on this project,” she added.

The Dean of Durham, the Very Revd Canon Dr Philip Plyming, said:

“Our historic records show that Monks living in this special place hundreds of years ago would have made their own alcohol, so we’re pleased to have been able to work with local suppliers and artists, celebrating the good gifts from God’s creation to make this unique item for the cathedral shop.” 

 Durham Distillery has also created a cocktail recipe and a gin and tonic combination to accompany the Monks’ Gin on a recipe card that is given to anyone who purchases a bottle in the Cathedral Shop.

Managing Director and Founder of Durham Distillery, Jon Chadwick, said: “I have always loved Durham Cathedral, and growing up in Durham it has been a big part of my life. The community around the cathedral and the Shrine of St Cuthbert may be different to the times of the monks, but is no less vibrant and meaningful. 

 “We had lots of fun creating Monks Gin, including researching the original still belonging to the Infirmerer. This is one of the most rewarding projects we have ever worked on, and we are incredibly proud to be a small part of the life of the cathedral.”

Monks’ Gin is available to purchase in the Durham Cathedral shop for £20 for 20cl and £50 for 70cl. Sales from the Monks’ Gin supports the conservation of Durham Cathedral.

For more information visit www.durhamcathedral.co.uk

Durham Cathedral is the latest cathedral to launch its own gin and follows Blackburn, Bristol, Canterbury, Chester, and Rochester.