About Waterton's Reserve Gin

Waterton's Reserve Gin is inspired by our district's history.

The nightingale on our label isn’t just to make it look pretty, there’s a story behind why we chose it. It’s a link to a very remarkable Victorian period Yorkshire Explorer and gentleman named Charles Waterton. You might not be familiar with his legend but you will certainly have been touched by the legacy he left behind.

Charles, known locally as The Squire, was an extraordinary chap with views on conservation and wildlife that was very much out of step with his Victorian contemporaries. He lived in the small Yorkshire village of Walton, only a few miles from our distillery, and travelled all over the world studying plants and animals,very much like a 19th century David Attenborough.

In fact Mr Attenborough cites Charles Waterton as huge influence in shaping his own career and Waterton’s writings were also an inspiration to Darwin.

Charles Waterton was a pioneer of conservation, he fought a local soap manufacturer that was polluting nearby waterways with harmful chemicals and as a result had the factory relocated! He also established the World’s first nature reserve at his home in Yorkshire where he settled with his native American wife, and often patrolled his grounds personally to protect the resident wildlife from local poachers.

Waterton was a well respected true gent, a published scholar and his rich spirit of adventure led him to be the supposed influence behind fictional explorer Indiana Jones, and he certainly behaved like the Indiana Jones of his era. His refined background crossed with rugged stories of him wrestling caiman in the jungles of South America certainly provide a host of similarities between the Squire and his more modern day, fictional American counterpart.

It was Waterton’s adventurous spirit, bold approach and passion for nature that inspired us to capture these qualities in our small batch gin. With a strong focus on classic 19th century gin botanicals of Waterton’s period, South American cocoa nibs, local flavours and pure mineral water from a spring only a few miles from our Yorkshire distillery, we’ve created a range of gins that celebrate Waterton’s passion for exploration, his Yorkshire roots and his South American travels.

And why the nightingale?

Waterton’s last entry into his journal on May 2nd 1865 read “On this night at 11 o’clock two nightingales were singing melodiously in the Park.”

It was the final time Waterton’s words were put to paper and it was this snippet that inspired the Nightingale on our label and led us to base both our botanical selection and our range of gin with Waterton and his nightingales at the heart of our work.

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