It’s well-known that supermarkets are fussy when it comes to the fresh produce they’ll accept. Fruit and vegetables often have to conform to a variety of aesthetic requirements. These usually include being the ‘right’ colour, size and shape to make it on to supermarket shelves. This results in huge quantities of perfectly edible food going uneaten.
Thankfully, there are food and drink brands that are looking to reduce this kind of food waste. Pete Thompson, a third-generation farmer, runs Brook Farm in Essex. He’s found an exciting way to re-purpose unwanted apples, apricots and plums into high-quality, award winning drinks.
Specifically, Pete has launched Reliquum. The Latin word for “all that remains,” Reliquum currently offers three different spirits.
Let the Fun Be-Gin!
First there’s the Reliquum London Dry Gin. This is distilled with apple and calamondin, a type of of citrus fruit. It’s a classic London Dry and is perfect in a martini.
There’s also Reliquum Plum, a London Dry Gin blended with the juice of leftover Lizzie plums. It’s a dry, 16% ABV spirit that could well replace your Pimms in next summer’s cocktails. Bright and sharp, it’s equally as good mixed with a tonic or a non-fiery ginger beer.
The range is rounded off with Reliquum Apricot. This is a blend of London Dry Gin and tree-ripened apricots. It tastes great with prosecco.
Food Waste Champions
The amount of fruit that’s rescued by Pete on Brook Farm is quite staggering. All the fruit used for Reliquum drinks comes from the family farm, and has been rejected by supermarkets for not being pretty enough. Each bottle of Reliquum Plum makes use of 750g of fruit that would otherwise become bin fodder. So far, the Reliquum London Dry alone has saved more than 7 tonnes of apples!
Brook Farm have made sloe gin for years. But after being inspired by losing an apricot crop to frost, Pete added gin to their tiny scattering of apricots and the rest is history.
It’s not just gin and spirits that have the zero waste treatment. Before the launch of Reliquum, Pete found other ways to repurpose unloved apples and pears through Cotchel. Cotchel offer a range of juices made using apples and pears from Brook Farm that would otherwise go to waste.
For more on Brook Farm, Reliquum and Cotchel, check out our interview with Pete on the Good Foodies Podcast. Who said you can’t help the environment with a drink in your hand?