James May doesn't run a farm, nor is he gunning to open his own classic car restoration shop, but he's been doing more than nothing since The Grand Tour last aired. He did invest in a pub last year during the coronavirus pandemic, and Captain Slow is, of course, continuing to do his own thing. His next endeavour is distilling some gin for his pub patrons, and you can buy your own bottle now that he's brewing an unlimited supply of it.
May announced his new gin in the most James May way possible – with a 10-minute video methodically explaining how gin is made, which leads to him distilling the first batch of his gin. It's quite an interesting dive into a subject many of us probably know little about. May's new spirit, called Asian Parsnips Gin, includes parsnips, lemon peel, lime, and several flavours of Asian influence along with the necessary juniper.
May starts the distilling process after selecting all the botanicals, and less than four hours later, he's tasting his own gin for the first time. And, apparently, it's not bad – it had potential, or May wouldn't be selling it. There are two more videos coming in the series, though May doesn't disclose what they'll be about. However, we expect both to be quite informational about the gin-making process, possibly to the point of boredom.
May had originally planned to distill just 1,000 litres, but the maths didn't give with the gin bottle's actual 700 millimetres. Instead, he'd planned to produce 1,420 bottles of his Asian Parsnip, each signed and numbered, but there was so much enthusiasm that he's now brewing a second batch in unlimited supplies. It's cheaper than the original limited run, with a bottle now costs £39. It's not numbered nor signed, but it is a special bottle of gin. It's currently only available in the UK, but he could ship it internationally if there's enough interest.