I met Fabrizio Cioffi at his small distillery, Old Poison, housed in the Biscuit Factory (Edinburgh Gin are his downstairs neighbours). The first thing that strikes you, is that Fabrizio, originally from Naples is an extremely passionate young man, who understands above all about flavour (his coming from a family of chefs probably helps).
He has worked in the drinks industry for over 10 years and this gave him the inspiration to create the Old Poison Distillery, and start distilling his own gin on his 30l copper pot still Aurora, in January 2018.
But hang on, why call it Old Poison? Apparently, this is a nod to the medicinal uses of alcohol throughout the millennia and it’s often healing qualities, or if not healing at least attempting to! Fabrizio has a keen interest in history and mythology, hence the name of his signature gin – Selkie. Selkies or selkie folk meaning “seal people” are mythological beings capable of changing shape from seals to human by shedding their skin, found in Scottish folklore mostly in Orkney and Shetland.
Fabrizio is constantly experimenting and is working closely with Stewart Brewing on a digestif, he also makes kits, which can be given as gifts to make your own compound gin. I was kindly given one to try, so I have my mason jar in the larder, which needs to be shaken twice daily and left for a week. I am pretty excited about trying it, and of course, I’ll let you know how it tastes – watch this space.
Selkie itself is a London dry style gin, bursting with citrus. I tried it with a slice of pink grapefruit and Mediterranean Fever Tree – a nod to the Naples heritage, and it is a perfect gin for this time of year, for any time of year really, it’s one of those gins that you could happily sit and drink all night.
Visit https://www.oldpoison.co.uk/ for more details.
Aly Higgins, Brand Ambassador