London seafood restaurant chain Wright Brothers has come up with a solution for the thousands of discarded oyster shells it goes through each year – by distilling them into a gin.
The gin, named Half Shell Gin, is produced by London’s The Ginstitute distillery and the aim is to make a great tasting gin whilst also providing a functional and sustainable way to reuse oyster shells.
Instead of the oyster shells being tossed in the bin they now find a new purpose in the gin distillation production.
Ivan Ruiz, Wright Brothers beverage manager, said of the process: “We use Carlingford oyster shells, which are cold-macerated in neutral spirit and then distilled.
“We then add a percentage of the distillation to the gin. The oyster shell taste is then balanced with 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.”
The Ginstitute Distillery, which makes Portobello Road Gin, has unique gin-making form; in 2017 the London-based distillers used turkey breast as part of the distillation process for its limited-edition Pechuga Gin.
Wright Brothers suggest enjoying a glass of Half Shell Gin with, you guessed it – a cold platter of oysters – and for an extra touch of class they recommend using the gin as part of a classic gin martini.
Half Shell Gin will be available at Wright Brothers restaurants priced at £28 a bottle.