Old Edwards’ new Discovery Gin supports the conservation efforts of the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

HIGHLANDS, N.C., Nov. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, North Carolina, has teamed up with Asheville’s Chemist Spirits and the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust (HCLT) to create an exquisite botanical gin using native wild juniper that was hand-harvested nearby on a protected parcel of land under the trust’s stewardship. Visitors to the historic inn can now take home a taste of the area while supporting the conservation efforts of this non-profit that is dedicated to protecting the Plateau’s valuable natural resources for all generations.

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To further promote the beneficial work being done by HCLT, Old Edwards Discovery Gin will become a key ingredient in signature craft cocktails across Old Edwards Hospitality’s properties and will be available for sale online and at ABC stores in the area for $42. A portion of the proceeds from each bottle sold will benefit HCLT directly. The organization is North Carolina’s oldest land trust, and it protects and conserves more than 4,000 acres across the Southern Appalachians.

“Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust began conserving our natural heritage 114 years ago when members of the newly formed town of Highlands came together to save our first property. Today, that same spirit of collaboration is what fuels HCLT’s conservation efforts,” said Julie Schodt, Development Director for HCLT. “Partners like Chemist Spirits and Old Edwards Inn help remind those who love these mountains that each of us plays an important role in saving our wild places for the benefit of current and future generations.”

“These mountains are part of one of only two temperate rain forests in the continental U.S. – full of amazing plants that grow only here, not to mention the animals that rely on them. We aim to help conserve these wildlands with the release of Old Edwards Discovery Gin,” says Debbie Word, a Cashiers, North Carolina landowner and HCLT supporter who co-founded Chemist Spirits in Asheville, North Carolina, with her daughter Danielle Donaldson in 2018. “Every bottle is a celebration of the diverse flora and fauna that thrive in this breathtaking corner of the United States.”

The award-winning culinary and beverage team at Old Edwards has worked closely with Chemist Spirits to refine the unique flavor profile of the gin to meet Old Edwards’ exceptional standards of sustainability and quality. “We consider ourselves custodians of this unique and beautiful natural environment where, for nearly two centuries, travelers have come from around the world to rest and recharge,” says Executive Chef, Chris Huerta. “Old Edwards is proud to co-create a premium spirit that aligns with our commitment to sustainability and preservation while also providing an avenue to support the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust with every exquisite pour.”  

Old Edwards Inn is the first hospitality provider in North Carolina to be awarded the NC Green Travel Award by the North Carolina Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach (NCDEAO) and the Center of Sustainable Tourism at East Carolina University. In 2016, Old Edwards Inn’s rating was raised to NC Green Travel’s highest rating and each year they continue to seek out new ways to further protect the natural resources of North Carolina.

Old Edwards Discovery Gin Tasting Notes
Native Highlands juniper blended with other distinctive botanicals crafts a gin that is a true homage to the region it hails from while sweet birch bark lends a subtly minty freshness, intertwined with the gentle resinous notes from native hemlock. Pitch Pine adds a whisper of earthiness, balanced by the soft floral caress of Multiflora Rose. The Local Juniper shines through with its timeless piney essence, harmoniously melding with the sweet, delicate touch of local sourwood honey. These botanicals come together to create a gin that is lightweight, refreshing and botanical-forward, offering a crisp, clean taste with every sip. Old Edwards Discovery gin doesn’t just speak of its place of origin but sings of it, each note a tribute to the breathtaking yet rugged landscapes that cradle these botanical treasures.

About Old Edwards Hospitality Group
Old Edwards Hospitality Group is a leisure and lifestyle company in Highlands, N.C., an upscale resort town atop the southwestern plateau of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains in the Nantahala National Forest. Old Edwards operates three hotels, two private clubs, a world-class spa, a retail shop, a special events facility, a working farm, and multiple gardens. A Relais & Châteaux hotel and Travel + Leisure World’s Best resort, Old Edwards Inn & Spa features numerous luxury amenities, private golf, live local musical performances, and Wine Spectator dining at one of several farm-fed restaurants. The adults-only, 14-acre Half-Mile Farm Luxury Country Inn features a complimentary chef-made breakfast and social hour daily, a heated mineral pool and hot tub alongside a rock waterfall, a whimsical garden, and a private lake. The mountain-chic 200 Main Motel provides relaxed lodging with a heated mineral pool and hot tub, fitness room, game room, fireplace lounge, and terrace, along with a wooded hillside park complete with fire pits and a waterfall. Visit

About Chemist Spirits 
Founded in 2018, Chemist Spirits is distilled and hand-crafted in Asheville, North Carolina. Located in the heart of downtown, Chemist is a fully operational distillery and features a three-level speakeasy, Antidote, on-site. Founded by distiller Debbie Word, Chemist produces artisan gin, whiskey, and a variety of small-batch spirits using local botanicals and drawing inspiration from pioneering tastemakers in the food and beverage industry. Chemist Spirits was created to honor the real-life chemists and pharmacists who kept distilling alive during Prohibition. These complex and captivating products create an authentic taste of old-world distilling, encasing meticulous skill and knowledge in each bottle to provide a cure for the common cocktail. | Instagram @ChemistSpirits.

About The Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust
The Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust conserves forests, wetlands, and vistas that are home to the greatest number of rare and endemic plants and animals in the Southern Appalachians. Six different watersheds find their sources on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau so conserving land here protects drinking water for millions living throughout the Southeast. HCLT originated in 1883 with the creation of the Highlands Improvement Association, a group created to “protect, preserve, and promote the natural beauty of Highlands.” That mission continues today.

SOURCE Chemist Spirits

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