Spirits will be high at Castle Howard in 2020 as the historic Yorkshire estate creates a partnership with local gin distillers, Sloemotion, to develop a new premium quality drink inspired by the 8000 acre estate, as well as hosting events celebrating nature and foraging.
The partnership has been developed out of shared interests between Castle Howard’s estate conservation programme and the ethos of Sloemotion, which has pioneered the use of locally foraged botanicals – including sloes and hedgerow fruits - to add to their classic London gin ingredients.
Sloemotion is a family-run business producing premium small batch spirits and liqueurs. It is run by brothers Joff and Jules Curtoys and is based at Green Farm, Barton-le-Willows, near Malton in North Yorkshire.
Under the partnership, alongside the development of a new Castle Howard Gin using ingredients foraged from the estate, Sloemotion will lead hedgerow talks for visitors.
Sloemotion will also become an official sponsor of some key events in Castle Howard’s 2020 programme, including providing a 1920s Gin bar for the Brideshead Festival in late June, and this year’s Christmas extravaganza.
“The ethos and values that inspired Sloemotion have struck a chord with us here at Castle Howard,” says Nicholas Howard. “Joff Curtoys, (with a background in ecology and conservation) – one of the brothers behind the Sloemotion brand – sits on our Conservation Advisory Board, and their work using botanicals sourced from their local surroundings at Green Farm resonate with our wish to develop high quality, sustainable products from the estate here.”
Castle Howard and Sloemotion have a shared connection through Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, which is the charitable partner of both organisations.
Indeed, restoring hedgerows and reducing the cutting cycle to let more fruit to develop to support wildlife has been a key part of Sloemotion’s history, with the sloes that grow on the blackthorn bushes, used to develop the brand’s signature gin.
“Sloemotion are delighted to be teaming up with Castle Howard in 2020 with these exciting future plans and collaborations. We have been proud to supply the Castle Howard Farm Shop for a number of years and have enjoyed a close working relationship; this partnership is providing a wonderful opportunity to work closely with this prestigious estate at future events and with an exciting new gin,” said Sloemotion’s Joff Curtoys.