The Last Overland is an epic expedition led by award-winning filmmaker and explorer Alex Bescoby, dubbed “the mother of all road trips”. Driving 21,000km across 23 countries and two continents in a 65-year-old Land Rover, Alex and his team set out to recreate one of the 20th century’s greatest road journeys – The First Overland – over 60 years ago.
Discovering that The Last Overland expedition follows the same path as the Ancient Spice Route – where OPIHR sources its exotic botanicals and spices, this was one journey not to be missed. Taking inspiration from the adventurous nature of the merchants who travelled the same route trading valuable spices many centuries ago, OPIHR joined Alex and the team on their adventure to rediscover the incredible cultures and flavours found along the route, some of which inspired the unique flavours found in our latest Regional Editions.
Drawing inspiration from our spice route heritage and incorporating global flavour trends from various locations, the three Regional Editions (Far East, Arabian & European) combine the unmistakable taste of OPIHR London Dry Gin with distinctive botanicals and regional flavours along the way. The connection of flavour and place gives each gin a stand-out flavour profile that is still unmistakably OPIHR, but with an inspiringly unique twist.
Watch our Overland adventures below and take your tastebuds on a journey with OPIHR.
The Last Overland documentary is also now available to watch on All4, so go check it out!
Before beginning the epic journey from Singapore for The Last Overland expedition, we met Alex Bescoby and ‘Oxford’ in London to go in search of interesting flavours and spices that have made their way to the UK’s capital along these ancient global trade routes.
For centuries, London’s historic docklands were often the final destination for traders travelling along the spice route. Here they offloaded their wares before heading back out to sea.
Here in West Bank Quays we discover that this centuries-old tradition of global flavours is being continued by today’s street food vendors, including one chef from Afghanistan preparing a mouth-watering dish seasoned with black pepper and coriander – key ingredients in OPIHR Spiced London Dry Gin that provides the lingering warmth and soft spice finish. A gin so distinct, you can taste the journey of the spices in just one sip.
We begin our journey of flavour discovery by joining The Last Overland team in Myanmar (Burma), where we go in search of the incredible hot chillies and spices south-east Asia is famed for.
Joining Alex behind the wheel of Oxford, we head through the plains and paddy fields of central Myanmar into the country’s old royal capital Mandalay, where we explore a thriving food market in search of Myanmar’s most famous national dish – Mohinga – a distinctive noodle soup made in nearly every corner of the country. It’s packed with vibrant spices and flavours, both familiar and entirely new to the palate.
It is this part of the world where the unique Szechuan Pepper is sourced – the key botanical in our Far East Edition, which provides the bold and invigoratingly warm notes found in the gin. It also pairs well with one of Myanmar’s world-famous sunsets…
The team are halfway through their epic expedition and we joined Alex and the Last Overland team in a quiet Azeri town just outside the capital of Baku, which for centuries had been major trading hub on the Spice Routes connecting Europe to Central Asia.
Within the tranquil landscape on the edge of Azerbaijan’s Gobustan Desert, and in the heart of Azerbaijan’s thriving lemon-growing industry, we explore the recipes and citrus flavours used through generations of the local communities within the region. Alex gets invited by a local farmer to have a traditional spread, where he discovers an interesting way to eat lemons! We found citric inspiration close by along the Spice Route for our Black Lemon Gin, which is the perfect balance of citrus and spice.
Join us on our journey as Alex and the team come across their most unusual roadblock to date on their long journey home in search of some Azeri citrus delights. Next stop: Europe!
Almost at the end of The Last Overland expedition, we’re back for another part of the journey with Alex and The Last Overland team as they finally enter Europe, climbing into the breath-taking Bulgarian mountains in their 15th of 23 countries on their journey home.
This region is famed for its long history of home-brewed wine, and a unique blend of ingredients used to create highly aromatic tonics, bitters, wine and vermouths. Watch as we meet a characterful Pelin-producer residing in a village atop a steep mountain, who introduces us to an old family recipe that has been in his family for decades and uses an array of bitter herbs and flavours as a key ingredient.
Botanicals used here inspired the flavours found in our European Edition – Aromatic Bitters Gin – a fine balance of blending fragrant myrrh with aromatic bitters, creating a smooth and well-rounded spice gin with a rich, yet clean finish.
Watch what classic cocktail we create by mixing these together…
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