Master Distiller Sean Harrison


A guide to the botanicals and ingredients that make Plymouth gin so special

Brought to you by master distiller, Sean Harrison

As Master Distiller, I’m responsible for ensuring Plymouth Gin continues to be the genuine gin. After all, the recipe is over 200 years old, so it’s vital we maintain the same style, the same flavour profile, and the same quality that is at its core.

While unashamedly celebrating the flavour of juniper, at our heart is a hand-picked blend of seven botanicals that result in strong citrus notes at the beginning and gentle, smooth earthy notes at the end.

Here’s how I bring the blend together:


Harvested from the evergreen juniper tree and used in gin-making for centuries, Juniper berries are the backbone of any gin, and Plymouth Gin is no exception. 

The berries provide a piney, resinous flavour – which is often described as being similar to Christmas trees or pine forests – that is essential to the  bold, fresh taste of the gin’s profile.


Orris root is a floral botanical that has a delicate, violet-like flavour that provides a nice counterpoint to the other, more pungent botanicals. The root comes from the iris plant, which is native to Europe and Asia. It has been used in perfumes and other fragrances for centuries.


Orange peel provides a sweet, slightly bitter flavour that complements the other ingredients and gives the gin a well-rounded profile. It’s rich in essential oils that give it its distinctive flavour and aroma.

In Plymouth Gin, the orange peel is carefully balanced with the other botanicals to ensure that it adds just the right amount of sweetness to the gin.


Angelica root is a less well-known botanical that comes from the Angelica archangelica plant native to northern Europe and Asia. It provides a subtle, almost woody flavour that rounds out the other botanicals and gives the gin a smooth finish.


Cardamom is a popular spice in many cuisines, with a warm, spicy flavour. It provides a contrast to the other botanicals and has the highest percentage of essential oils out of any of our selection. It also adds a pleasing and surprising hint of menthol.


Lemon peel is a common botanical in many gins, and it provides a bright, zesty flavour to ours. The lemon peel is carefully selected to ensure that it gives just the right hit of citrus without overwhelming the other ingredients. It plays its part perfectly when the gin is mixed with tonic water, bringing out its refreshing notes.


Coriander is another key ingredient in Plymouth Gin, providing a citrusy, slightly spicy note. The seeds are actually the dried fruit of the coriander plant and are commonly used in a variety of cuisines. They also add a slight warmth to the gin, which can be particularly pleasant when drinking it neat.



Our favourite way to enjoy Plymouth Gin? A Martini. However, it’s usually weather driven. On a sunny day, a Gin & Tonic, Gimlet or French 75 are nice and refreshing.