A GIN made with South Downs milk thistle will be among the products on sale at a local market in Hove this month.

There will be stalls flogging patisseries, ground coffee, spirits, wine, and meats at the Old Market on November 30.

The premise is that shoppers will be able to meet the local producers behind their food and drink.

The event is hosted by Brighton Gin, a spirit flavoured with milk thistle native to the South Downs.

The spirit was the brainchild of Kathy Caton, who is organising the festival.

She said: “Sussex is blessed with some incredible food and drink producers and brands, plus some real personalities, so this is a great chance to celebrate them and help attendees crank up their Christmas shopping a notch or two.

“Visitors will have a fantastic opportunity to try a sensational selection of the finest Sussex produce while getting up close and personal with the entrepreneurs and makers behind our county’s unassailable food and drink scene. It’s a day not to be missed.”

Brighton Gin is made in the city’s first legal distillery. It uses organic wheat grain spirit and a host of botanicals including juniper, orange and lime peel. It is also flavoured with locally-grown coriander seed, the first to be commercially harvested in the UK in more than 200 years.

The company said it took months of experimentation to settle on a final flavour. Producers meddled with different ingredients and distilling techniques, and admitted there were a few slip-ups along the way.

But Brighton Gin is now served in the i360 and the Brighton Dome concert hall, as well as The Holborn Dining Room, the Corinthia Hotel, and the Kensington in London, as well as the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland and the Atlas in Singapore. It is stocked by Harvey Nichols and Fortnum and Mason – as well as pedalled around Brighton on specially-adapted gin bikes.

Sussex has earned something of a reputation for quality local produce. Speaking to the Argus in 2015, Nick Mosley, the director of the Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival, said: “Sussex is at the fore of quality food production and a world-class food and drink destination. Every day throws up a new Sussex producer with passion and adventure.

“The reception we’ve had internationally really goes to prove that. It’s great to see our produce selling out at farmers’ markets but also to see it on the shelves of the supermarkets and being exported internationally.”

He said the county is “without a doubt” the heart of the English wine industry.

“With the South Downs terroir mirroring that of the Champagne region of France, we are perfectly placed to produce sparkling wines that are the envy of the world.

Nick also praised the county’s honey, oils, sheep, chickens, cattle and game, making special mention of seafood including Shoreham’s whelk beds and crab from Selsey, and squid caught off the south coast. The products on display at the Old Market this month are just the tip of the iceberg.