The rarest drink in the world

joans hole gin

One might have trouble topping this bottle of Cognac for rarest tipples in the world:


Said to be the last remaining hand-blown jeroboam (6 litre, smaller bottle shown above) bottle in the world and believed to have travelled with the army of Napoleon Bonaparte as it waged war against Austria and the British. The Dutch Republic fell to French troops in the same year. Bought from a Chicago collector in 1990 for more than €24,000. Estimated value €138,000.

Of course you can purchase some old and rare  Joan’s Hole Vintage Damson gin at a fraction of the price.

A River Runs Through it

(c) Bewdley Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Dick Brook by the artist Alistair Bell. Painted in 1973 – currently in the Bewdley Museum

Dick Brook
Dick Brook is famous as Andrew Yarranton built the first canalised brook in this country, at the place Dick Brook.  There is no apparent reason for it being called this, but it could have been named Glasshampton,  but then changed to Dick Brook. The brook is the boundary of Astley and  Shrawley.

 Andrew Yarranton was born in the parish of Astley between 1616 and  1619. He built Dick Brook around 1650-55.  It was based in between Astley and the River Severn and two roads  crossed the brook, but maps show only one of the roads had a bridge.

Joan’s Hole is at the source and formation of Dick Brook.

A pictureque part of the English countryside.

What would you do with a Buddhas Hand Fruit?

buddhas hand

Well put it in your gin of course! The aromatic rind of the Buddha’s Hand infuses perfectly in alcohols like vodka or gin. Choose your base spirit (something strong, high in proof, works best) and add sliced citron in an air-tight jar. Shake up the contents a few times and let it sit for a week or two, depending on how strong you’d like the flavour to be. When it’s ready, use a strainer to separate the alcohol from the citron.

The fruit originates in China but the trees can be bought in the UK

PATXARAN The Basque Liquor




“Patxaran”, a very popular liqueur in the Basque provinces of both Spain and France  is made with sloe berries. The only difference is that instead of using gin as a base, they use anisette liqueur. It is served cold or at room temperature, as an “aperitivo”, cold and with ice cubes or in a liqueur glass after coffee. A very interesting variation. –   The recipes date back to the late 17th Century and include the addition of essence of almond and vanilla.  Yum!

The Real Hogwarts Express

Just down the road from Joan’s Hole is the legendary Bewdley Steam Train.  It has been run everyday since the 1960’s by enthusiasts.

The former owner of Joan’s Hole was a man by the name of  Harry Potter ( no we are not joking – Harry Potter really did live at Joan’s hole) .

Here is a fabulous video of the steam train in action.  Remember the days of thick cardboard trains tickets you could clean your fingernails with?   Then you will love this video!

Make your own Damson Gin

Fancy having a go yourself?  This great video gives you a step by step guide to making your own damson gin.

Of course our old secret recipe at Joan’s Hole is a little bit more involved and our special ageing process makes our damson gin incredibly smooth.  Why not try for yourself and then compare