Sprigster: Pythouse Kitchen Garden’s non-alcoholic Shrub infused spirit

At the beginning of this year the team behind the popular Pythouse Kitchen Garden in Wiltshire, launched Sprigster, a non-alcoholic shrub infusion, that acts as a delicious dry alternative to a G&T or alcoholic aperitif. Inspired by the seasonal and home-grown produce grown within a centuries-old walled garden, Sprigster and its unique blend of ingredients perfectly encapsulate the joys of an English country garden. 

Tucked away in South Wiltshire, the Pythouse 3-acre walled garden has supplied the estate and surrounding community with fruit and vegetables for decades. Continuing this tradition, where the menus in the restaurant reflect what is abundant at that time, Sprigster uses five key ingredients found within the kitchen garden and brings a centuries old process to life in a shrub infusion inspired by the origins of a shrub and its history with the South West. 

The base of the drink is made from a mash – typically a mixture of ingredients that is hot-steeped, fermented and distilled. Sprigster is created using the same steep process but is not fermented or distilled. Instead, the mash is gently infused for three weeks, allowing the botanicals to marry together. Vinegar is used to extract the botanical flavours, creating a ‘mash’ of unique herbaceous tannins and a complex flavour profile. Made with home-grown hops for dryness, rhubarb for tang, ginger for heat and fennel seeds for a subtle hint of anise, the addition of an English Discovery apple reduction completes this modern interpretation of an old English shrub. 

“Our garden has the most fantastic history. In the early 18th Century, gardeners for the Bennett family sank their forks and established a botanical bloodline which still blossoms today. This drink celebrates exactly that. It was my mother actually who noticed that we needed a drink in the restaurant for the ‘designated drivers’ and that’s where it all began. Sprigster is a firm favourite in our restaurant so we are excited to introduce it to a wider audience” explains Piers Milburn, founder of Sprigster and owner of Pythouse Kitchen Garden. 

Full of garden goodness, Sprigster is a hugely versatile drink and a great summer / autumn alcohol alternative. The recommended serve is Sprigster poured over ice with tonic water and garnished with the season’s fruit and a sprig of something from the garden, though it can be enjoyed on the rocks and is an excellent addition to any alcoholic cocktail recipe.