Seafood restaurant recycles leftover oyster shells to flavour gin

London seafood specialist Wright Brothers has jumped on the flavoured gin train and launched a spirit distilled with oyster shells, Amalfi lemon and kelp seaweed.

Produced with partners The Ginstitute Distillery of West London, the  gin has has been designed to complement Wright Brothers’ menu of oysters, shellfish and fish. It is a savoury gin with high mineral notes and a pink pepper finish.

The fishy liquid has been made in partnership with The Ginstitute, which also produces west London gin label Portobello Road, and “provides a sustainable way to reuse oyster shells from Wright Brothers’ restaurants.”

Portobello Road is known for working unconventional flavours into its spirits. The distillery created a smoked gin in 2016 to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. In 2017, as part of its Director’s Cut range – a project launched every year to mark the brand’s birthday and that of it’s founder Ged Feltham – it launched what it claims is the world’s first ‘pechuga’ gin, an expression distilled with an organic turkey breast.

“We use Carlingford oyster shells, which are cold-macerated in neutral spirit and then distilled,” Ivan Ruiz, Wright Brothers beverage manager, said.

“”We then add a percentage of the distillation to the gin. The oyster-shell taste is then balanced with a kelp seaweed, and other ingredients like juniper and Amalfi lemon. The result is a savoury gin with high mineral notes and a pink pepper finish.”

“Our Wright Brothers Bloody Mary, which comes garnished with an oyster, is synonymous with our restaurants,” said Robin Hancock, co-founder of Wright Brothers.

“Our guests have always enjoyed pairing oysters with drinks, so this feels like a natural progression. We’d thought about creating our own wine, but we feel gin, especially this gin, reflects both our restaurants and the city we call home.”

The gin will be available at Wright Brothers’ restaurants, and through its website with an RRP of £28.

Wright Brothers Wholesale sources and supplies sustainable oysters, wild and farmed fish and seafood to over 300 restaurants and chefs.

The company has a coastal centre in Brixham, Devon, with a team that buys fish straight from the market auctions and British fishing fleet, and a depot in Billingsgate Market, London.

Brothers-in-law Ben Wright and Robin Hancock opened their first restaurant in south London in 2005, and now have five sites in the city.

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