December is the beginning of the Royal planting season with crops going in glass houses or polytunnels. Seed potatoes are planted carefully by hand, to make sure the fragile shoots are facing skyward to ensure even growth.
Early in the year cotils (the steep south facing slopes) are then planted first as the soil here suffers the least frost the slopes allow the rain to drain from the fields. The challenge is the gradient as not only are they planted by hand, the ground is also ploughed by hand. Despite the labour involved this practice remains as it delivers the earliest and, arguably the best Jersey Royals of the season.
The Jersey Royal season is considered to mark the start of spring, by chefs around the world as well as locals.
Because Royal Mash depends on this fine, annual crop of Jersey Royal potatoes, it is a vintage vodka.
Each year’s crop is very slightly different, in the same way as climate and terroir affect grapes from which fine wines are produced.
Once the crop is gathered, our master distiller expertly creates the vodka from each summer’s crop, retaining only the heart of the distillation, so that the differences in the finished spirit are hardly discernible from year to year.
Some detail about the History of the Jersey Royal potato can be found here.