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The House’s tipple – Jabberwocky Gin With interest in gin at Christ Church at an all-time high, we decided to make our own take on this classic spirit, using botanicals found on site. I asked our head gardener, John James, what were the herbs and plants that would most closely evoke a walk through the grounds on a heady Spring morning. We came up with a list of herbs and shrubs as a recipe for a friendly local distillery owned by the Foxdenton Estate. Foxdenton specialise in gins with big flavours and lots of character, and we’re sure this comes across in our House gin. The name and label derive from the works of Charles Dodgson, known as Lewis Carroll. It is a common myth of the House that the Pococke tree, sequestered in the loveliest corner of Oxford, provided the inspiration for the monstrous Jabberwocky. Our archivist, Judith Curthoys, is sure this can’t be strictly true, as at the time of Charles Dodgson the Pococke tree was hidden away from most. We chose for the label instead a nineteenth century engraving (usually housed in the Librarians’ tea room) of a young fig tree growing up the wall of the SCR garden – Dodgson could hardly have missed it. Its spreading, spindly arms are perhaps not so gargantuan, but for me represented something more: the gin had to engage with the House’s story, sprawling, rich and fruitful.