“Are you sipping comfortably? Then I’ll begin…”
I own up – I stole the subtitle above from the Fynoderee Gin Distillery, which is based on the stunning Isle of Man, its name arising from ancient Manx folklore – lending it that touch of magic that our Elder Shee version of their Manx Dry Gin truly deserves.
Our delicious gin was created exclusively for the Craft Gin Club, but at least we have discovered this distillery and can look forward to trying some of their other six Manx Dry recipes in the future. The intriguing story surrounding the origin of the distillery’s name, though, is definitely worth telling, and involves a young girl Kitty, who basically falls in love with the handsome Elfin Prince Udereek, whose magical beauty made her unable to resist his mystical charm … they fell in love … and this is the slightly edited continuation of the tale, from the distillery’s website:
“But at a feast of the King and Queen, Udereek found himself sitting next to a fairy named Estella, who was widely considered to be the most beautiful of all fairy maidens – and who possessed ways of seduction and bewitchery that no mortal man could ever resist. Estella was attracted to him for his good looks and his high position within the Fairy Court, so set out to seduce Udereek, but he was immune to her charms; bewitched as he was by his love for Kitty, to whom he remained true.
Much happened before Estella wreaked her jealous revenge and “gleefully summoned a rising mist from all the poisonous plants in the glen, and silently directed it to surround poor Kitty. Slowly and imperceptibly, Kitty breathed in the toxic mist until her fate was sealed. That night, overcome by the noxious fumes, she passed away in her bewildered father’s arms.
“For Udereek, a different and even worse fate was in store. He was formally tried by his peers and condemned to banishment from the fairy community – to remain a lonely wanderer in Ellan Vannin until the crack of doom. His sentence was no sooner pronounced by the King than Udereek was instantly changed from his beautiful Elfin form into a figure resembling a satyr: half man, half billy-goat – from whence he derives his present name of Fynoderee, or HAIRY ONE”.
“Although heartbroken and fallen from grace, the Fynoderee is known for good-naturedly assisting those who he befriends, and many are the tales of the hairy fellow’s beneficence. Over the years and by moonlight, he has helped farmers to reap and sow, moved boulders to assist builders and mended many fishermen’s nets on the quaysides around our island”.
Being that our Elder Shee is a one off, there’s probably not much point in extrapolating its many virtues, other than the fact that we thoroughly enjoyed it with Indian tonic and a wedge of orange. But the story of the Manx fairies is worth sharing – as is the fact that we will be trying more of this distillery’s magical concoctions.
Expect to pay around £36 for the 43% ABV spirit, Manx Dry gins can be purchased direct from the makers or – love it or loathe it – good old Amazon.