Fathers’ Day – June 18th 2017 – the facts!

Did you know that we should really celebrate Fathers’ day on March 19th?

St Joseph’s Day has been used to celebrate Fatherhood since medieval times but the modern ‘tradition’ of Fathers’ day on the third Sunday of June started in the US  in 1908 when Grace Clayton suggested to her local pastor that it was time that men got a special day as well.

It is not known who was the first Father to receive socks as a gift on Fathers’ Day….

Happy World Gin Day with the French 75

French 75

Gin is so much more than G&T – celebrate World Gin Day with a French 75 cocktail…..

25ml Dancing Cows Lymington Gin

12.5ml lemon juice

12.5ml simple syrup (sugar dissolved in water)

Top up with prosecco, cava or champagne in a flute glass

garnish with a slice of lemon


Simple, sophisticated and a beautifully refreshing cocktail on a bright summer’s day



Dancing Cows on television on the 6th April 2017 with Sarah Parish and Pig the Dog!

TV crew

On MORE4 this week at 8pm, we make a cameo appearance on the Walks with my Dog programme as actress Sarah Parish walks along the coastal path between Lymington and Keyhaven with her dog called Pig.

The filming took place last August – we picked some angelica on Lower Pennington Lane, tasted the botanicals going into my new foraged rowan berry and oat gin and then sampled a few measures of different spirits….and all before 10am!

The programme features several celebrities with their assorted hounds meeting local people along the way around beautiful areas of the UK. One of the slightly weird initiatives is a ‘dog-cam’ to show the walk from the pooch’s perspective.

Here’s a video of Sarah walking up the road towards Sadlers Farm Workshops with the producer having to clean up after Pig who decided to show what he thought of the film crew!

Mother’s Day Madness – free tours when you buy gin this week

MotherGin SunDayDon’t forget that Sunday 26th March is Mother’s Day and you have just eight days to find a gift that shows how much you care.

Imagine the joy on her face when she unwraps her gift this year to find a bottle of Lymington Gin instead of the usual flowers, chocolates or (in desperate cases) assorted cleaning products…

Now we are offering you double brownie points! Spend £25 or more at our online shop this week and we’ll email you a voucher for two free Dancing Cows Distillery tours worth £9.50 each. The tours can be booked via Eventbrite at any scheduled date you choose (and we won’t tell a soul if you decide to keep the gin for yourself…..)

On the tour, you’ll be welcomed with a gin and tonic as Richard explains how beers and various spirits are made and how alcohol production has shaped our culture through 8,000 years of history.

Witbier Launched

WitbierThe Winchester Beer Festival starts on Friday this week (17th March) and we are launching our new Witbier to celebrate.

Brewed with Torrefied wheat, oats and local Keyhaven barley, it is a refreshing, naturally hazy, beer with a good wheat base overlaid with cloves and orange notes from the late additions of coriander seeds and orange peels.

We find that a wedge of orange really brings out the botanical notes in the beer…..and you can then claim it as one of your five-a-day….

To order some, please email Richard


It has been a long winter already and it is good to see signs of spring appearing at last. To celebrate, we are going to have a Mad March of wild and frivolous goings-on. These are some of the highlights:



Monday 6th March – Start of British Pie Week with a six-pack of our Foreign Extra Stout for the best recipe for a beef in ale pie (details will be published on Facebook and Twitter).

Saturday 11th March – Fordingbridge Town Hall Artisan Market (10am – 2pm). They are trying to resurrect the ancient Fordingbridge Market so please come along to support their efforts (see @FordingbridgeFoodMarket on Facebook for more details).

Friday March 17th – St Patrick’s Day – Launch of Half Wit Beer at the Winchester Beer Festival and beer and spirits tasting at Cork and Cheese in Park Gate.

Monday March 19th – remind yourself to get your Mother a bottle of Lymington Gin for Mother’s Day (lasts longer than flowers and gives more pleasure….;))

Saturday 25th March – Lymington Market all day – come and try our award winning spirits and beers…..and hopefully our first big batch of Hopkins Rum will be available.

Sunday 26th March – Mother’s Day…..still time to order your Mother a surprise Dancing Cows distillery tour voucher….

All through the month, we are running our regular tours on Wednesday and Friday evenings – please see EVENTBRITE for details and ticket bookings.

And remember that you can buy online at our shop and you can save on delivery charges by going for the click and collect from the distillery option using the ‘LOCALPICKUP’ discount code…..or you can just call in and buy during the week (we are open 9am until 6.30pm Mon-Fri and we take credit cards or cash).



Five Valentines Day Factoids

  1. Eros or Anteros – that is the question?

Most people know that the statue in London’s Piccadilly Circus is of Eros with his bow and arrow. Wrong! The figure actually depicts Anteros the god of selfless, fulfilled love rather than his more frivolous sibling who looked after the passion and desire side of things.

The statue wImage result for Erosas erected in 1892 in honour of Lord Shaftesbury who did much to improve the lives of the poor, the infirm and the insane in Victorian times.

Anteros gives us warm companionship; knowing what our partner is going to say before he or she says it; understanding their needs and being there for them in every possible way. Eros gives us a quick fumble, dodgy poetry and petrol station flowers.


  1. Who was St Valentine?

St Valentine was a Roman priest said to have cured a girl’s blindness by placing his hands on her eyes.Image result for St Valentine

He used this miracle to persuade people to sign up to Christianity but he overdid his marketing and ended up ruffling the feathers of a few senior Romans who arranged for him to be battered to death and beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate in Rome on February 14th 269AD.

You could say that he was the first man to lose his head over a woman.



  1. Who started the Valentines Day rituals?

Geoffrey Chaucer is credited with starting the Valentines Day ritual as we know it today although his 15th century poem suggests that he was actually reporting on what was already happening:

“For this was on St Valentines Day.Image result for single red rose

When every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”

The middle of February has, for time immemorial, been celebrated as the start of the new cycle when birds pair up for the season and old ladies in shawls try to sell single red roses to people eating their tea.



  1. Are Roses Red and Violets Blue?

Far from being fodder for cheap Valentines cards, the most famous and abused poem, ‘Roses are Red, Violets are Blue’ was actually written by a giant of English Literature – Edmund Spenser.

“She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew,

And all the sweetest flowres that in the forrest grew”

If only Edmund had spent a bit more time spell-checking his epic poem – The Faerie Queen –  he might have been as famous as William Shakespeare.


  1. What to get your Valentine?

Valentines Day is now big business – the first cards and letters were sent in the 16th century and mass-production started in the US in 1847. Valentines day is celebrated in some format or another across the globe.

As time has gone on, gifts have become more and more lavish with chocolate makers, florists, jewellers and just about any other business jumping on the bandwagon to get a cut of the billion pound seasonal bonanza.

But what to get the love of your life? Something that say’s that you care deeply about them -meaningful but not soppy. It would be wonderful if you could enjoy the gift with your partner (careful where you go with  this one) and you should really aim for something that lives on beyond the day itself. Now, I may be biased but,

“Roses are red, a symbol of sin,

If in doubt, give them some Gin!”


Find a gift for the love of your life

Dancing Cows Porter – Try January Free Beer!

On Saturday 14th January, why not come and try our 6.5% Porter for free down at the distillery and brewhouse at Sadlers Farm on Lower Pennington Lane (SO41 8AL and look for the twisted S sign)? We’re open from 10am until about 7pm.

We’re countering ‘Dry January’ with ‘Try January’ – reduce your intake by all means but why not go and try something that you have not tasted before?  Use January to experiment and investigate….drink less ….. but better!

Our Porter is a rich ale filled with chocolate notes and well-balanced hops. At 6.5%, it packs a punch so you may want to bring a designated driver with you.

Porter was developed as a style in the 18th century – it was the first beer that commercial brewers aged in the brewery so that it could be sold immediately it reached the pubs and it became extremely popular as a result.

The commercial success of various porters, particularly those brewed in London, led to significant investment in equipment and process development and huge fermenters and conditioning tanks were built to hold all the porter required. This was not all good news though because in October 1814, a giant fermenter in a brewery in the Tottenham Court Road burst it’s hoops creating a domino effect through the other fermenters resulting in nearly 1.5 million litres of beer gushing down the road. Houses were destroyed and it was fortunate that only eight people died in the flood (they don’t say how many subsequently died of drinking porter to excess in the aftermath….).

And why is it called Porter? It is alleged that the meat porters at Smithfield market would drink several pints of porter a day each and the name stuck….most of the history of beer is steeped in mystery so, who knows, but if it isn’t true…..it should be!