UK comedian and TV personality Graham Norton's new gin is on it's way to our NZ shores. It has been bottled and shipped this week and is set to hit the shelves next month.
Norton was already in partnership with NZ winemaker Invivo & Co for his hugely successful wine range, and together they decided it was a natural progression to produce a gin:
"We were working with Graham on this year's wine blends. At the end of a three-hour tasting and blending session, someone suggested we celebrate with a round of martinis," Invivo & Co's co-founder Tim Lightbourne said.
"It was over the martinis that Graham introduced the idea of an Irish gin and a plan was born to create one."
Invivo & Co's Rob Cameron and Lightbourne searched for a suitable distillery to produce the gin with Graham, and ended up teaming up with West Cork Distillers near Graham's home in West Cork, Ireland.
The result is a gin made from 100 per cent Irish grain, and a combination of 12 botanicals including lemon peel, orange peel, elderflower, rose hip, and fuchsia flowers.
"The gin category has been booming for the past few years and shows no sign of slowing down. We think the time is right to bring something different to the gin aisle and the selection of botanicals that Graham has handpicked and blended make for a truly unique drop – just like Graham himself!" Lightbourne said.
A limited run of 35,000 bottles of Graham Norton's Own Irish Gin were produced, launching in Ireland this month. It won't reach our shores until it clears customs next month though.
Norton first partnered with Invivo & Co back in 2011, and he even personally stomped his own Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc on the set of his chat show. This year more than three million bottles were produced and sold all around the world.
Watch Graham try his hand at blending his own wine below: