An Original Recipe | Mr King’s 1842

Mr King’s 1842

An Original Recipe

It was only as we made our way down to the south coast of England, that I realised I hadn’t really given much thought to the trip ahead; the busy, vicissitudinal nature of my week robbing me of that luxury. “What drink would you like?” the waitress asked me. It was after “work hours” and my hosts were Plymouth Gin so it made sense to get myself in the right frame of mind. “I’ll have a Gin & Tonic please,” I replied, the first gin cocktail to come to my mind as I must admit, I’m not primarily a gin drinker, my preferred options tending to the darker spectrum of spirits. That’s not so say I don’t like gin, it’s just not a spirit I’d had much experience in; somehow that “small” trend passed me by. This was all about to change as Plymouth Gin’s Master Distiller Sean Harrison made it his personal mission to accelerate my gin education, and it’s fair to say he succeeded.


Photo © Eli Ankutse
Photo © Eli Ankutse

As you may have already ascertained, this was no ordinary train, the journey consisting of a three-course Pullman 5-star dining experience to keep us entertained enroute. Our destination was to Plymouth Distillery — in Plymouth — the oldest working distillery in England.

Photo © Eli Ankutse
Photo © Eli Ankutse

As those gin experts amongst you will already know, the one key ingredient in gin is Juniper — without which the spirit can no longer be called a gin. Recently a 170 year-old recipe was discovered hidden in the vaults at the Plymouth Black Friars distillery and using his 20 years of experience, Plymouth Master Distiller Sean Harrison has recreated that recipe in a limited batch release. Originally pencilled in 1842, Mr King’s Recipe consisted primarily two ingredients – orris root and handpicked juniper from a single harvest day in the mountains of Frontignano, Italy.

Sean Harrison, Plymouth Gin Master Distiller (Photo © Eli Ankutse)
Sean Harrison, Plymouth Gin Master Distiller (Photo © Eli Ankutse)

“Mr King’s 1842 Recipe is a truly one-off craft gin that we will never be able to recreate again. Even if we were to visit the same Italian hillside next year, the climate and harvest conditions would affect the juniper resulting in a different taste profile. At a time when other brands are using many different botanicals throughout the distillation process, Mr King’s 1842 Recipe focuses on just two and the result is something very special.” ~ Sean Harrison, Master Distiller, Plymouth Gin

Sean Harrison, Plymouth Gin Master Distiller (Photo © Eli Ankutse)

As I’m sure you can imagine, handpicking the required volume juniper from a hyper-local source in Italy has its challenges, and hence Mr King’s 1842 Recipe will be a single-batch release, with only 2,000 cases produced.


A Mr King’s 1842 “K&T”

Photo © Eli Ankutse


  • 3 Parts King’s Recipe Gin

  • 1 Part Fever Tree Tonic

  • Twist of Lemon & Orange


Cocktail tasting notes: Light and refreshing. This simple G&T brings top notes to the gin while allowing the floral flavour of the gin to come through.



One distinctive feature of the Mr King’s 1842 Recipe is the creamy texture of the juniper forward gin, orris root providing floral hints of lavender and pine giving the relatively simple composition, a reassuringly complex taste; a defiant rebuke from history to anyone who dares to posit gin as merely a trend.


Plymouth Gin Mr King’s 1842 Recipe (Photo © Eli Ankutse)


A limited run of Mr King’s 1842 Recipe (RRP £45.50) is now available to purchase on Plymouth Gin’s website and also in store at The Whisky Exchange, Covent Garden and Fitzrovia.




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