Small British sports car manufacturer Morgan is known for using wood to build car bodies, but now it’s using the material to make gin. The spirit is thought to be the first commercially available gin in the world infused with ash – the same wood Morgan uses to handcraft body frames for its cars.
The ash shavings, which are a by-product of Morgan’s manufacturing techniques, are supplied to the Piston Distillery in Worcester, just a few miles from the Morgan factory in Malvern. There, the award-winning gin, which is made with no fewer than 14 botanicals, is infused with the ash to add flavour.
According to Morgan, the resulting Morgan x Piston Gin tastes of “natural crisp sweet apple” and “delicate wood”. The car maker suggests serving it with a ginger ale mixer, and topping the cocktail with fresh blackberries and lots of ice. The new gin is available to buy from Morgan’s online shop, where it costs £45. However, if you would like the gin in a presentation gift box it will cost £55.
Morgan has long been associated with its use of wood, with some erroneously believing the cars sit on wooden chassis. In truth, Morgan’s chassis have always been metal (the company currently uses aluminium), but the frame supporting the metal bodywork is made from ash.
“Ash wood forms one of Morgan’s three core materials, alongside aluminium and leather, and as such is intrinsic to our coachbuilding identity,” said Toby Blythe, head of marketing at the Morgan Motor Company. “When we worked with the expert distillers at Piston Gin – who are based just down the road from us, in Worcester – we were curious to find out how this material could be infused with their acclaimed gins. The result, we believe, speaks for itself. The new Morgan x Piston Gin makes the perfect gift for Christmas or any other celebration, or just a drink to enjoy yourself.”
Meanwhile Grace Stringer, distillery manager at the Piston Distillery, said the partnership had created a “distinctive” spirit.
“As with Morgan, quality materials and craftsmanship are at our core, so it has been wonderful to work alongside another local company whose values are at least as high as ours,” she said. “It’s a great idea to pay homage to Moragn’s history by using ash as its signature botanical, and adding the apple to soften the flavour has created a wonderfully distinctive gin.”