Another bloody disease Another bloody disease
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  1. #1

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    Default Another bloody disease

    British gin comes under threat as fungus-like pathogen attacks our juniper trees | Daily Mail Online

    It is a trendy tipple which has seen sales soar in recent years.

    But now UK gin is under threat – from a bug which attacks juniper trees.

    The fungus-like pathogen spreads through the trees whose berries are used to make gin.

    British gin sales reached a new record in 2019, with 83million bottles worth more than £2.6billion sold. The industry notched up a further £672million of exports.

    However, scientists have warned of the threat posed by the Phytophthora austrocedri pathogen – thought to have been introduced to the UK in the 1990s.

    Once it enters the roots of juniper trees, it starves them of nutrients, turning them bronze and potentially killing them in months. The trees are already under threat from loss of habitat.

    Experts from Forest Research, Exeter University and Scotland's Rural College have voiced their fears. Dr Sarah Green, of Forest Research, part of the Forestry Commission, said UK gin had become 'very fashionable'.

    But she added: 'This British gin market could be under threat from...Phytophthora austrocedri.

    'We are also very worried about juniper trees because they are one of only three conifer species native to the UK.'

    The pathogen is said to be an 'aggressive tree-killer' which lives in soil and thrives in water-logged conditions.

    In the worst-affected areas 50 to 60 per cent of trees can be wiped out. It is thought to have been introduced to many woodlands by well-meaning conservationists trying to increase juniper numbers by planting nursery specimens in the wild.

    In nurseries, the junipers can become infected with the pathogen from imported plants.

    Most juniper berries come from Scotland, which is home to 70 per cent of the trees. However, in a ray of hope, researchers have found that some trees appear to be resistant to the pathogen, which cannot spread through their roots.
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  2. #2

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    Ah well, if the juniper dies out we can just go back to drinking vodka.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladymuck View Post
    Ah well, if the juniper dies out we can just go back to drinking vodka.
    make your own gin from vodka (some of the trendy ones are actually made from vodka): How to make gin - BBC Good Food
    Brexit is having a wee in the middle of the room at a house party because nobody is talking to you, and then complaining about the smell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darmstadt View Post
    make your own gin from vodka (some of the trendy ones are actually made from vodka): How to make gin - BBC Good Food
    But you need juniper berries...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladymuck View Post
    But you need juniper berries...
    Got a load of them out the back :-)
    Brexit is having a wee in the middle of the room at a house party because nobody is talking to you, and then complaining about the smell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darmstadt View Post
    Got a load of them out the back :-)
    Sounds like hard work...
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    Prof Cunning @ Oxford Uni

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    Quote Originally Posted by darmstadt View Post
    make your own gin from vodka (some of the trendy ones are actually made from vodka)
    Most gins are made from a vodka base - it's the easiest neutral alcohol to produce. You then infuse the alcohol with herbs to create the flavour.

    This is why you'll find a lot of the small batch gin companies also sell vodka.

    Of course, one of the popular ways to make vodka in UK/Ireland is from potatoes.

    So, what would you do if you had a farm which grew really good potatoes? Oh yes, create a premium crisp brand.
    Too many potatoes? Set up a distillery.
    Call the vodka after your surname.
    Call the gin after your first name.

    Williams Gin is made from Chase Vodka, all thanks to Tyrrells crisps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladymuck View Post

    Ah well, if the juniper dies out we can just go back to drinking vodka.
    Until another moulds pop up and starts rotting potatoes, as one did in Ireland in the 19th century
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