Let's take a trip to wee bonny Scotland for this one. Just 15 miles over the border into Scotland you'll find the Born In The Boarder Visitor Centre, home to Lilliard Gin.
First created just this year in January by Lead Distiller, Kate Macinnes, there's no doubt this gin is fully inspired by its location in the Scottish Borders. Using local spring water in the distilling process and botanicals that are found and foraged within the Borders which reflect the four seasons of the surrounding landscape.
Set within the Teviot valley, the micro-distillery where Lilliard Gin is created, was once a cowshed so it's pretty small. To go with the tiny distillery, there is a tiny copper still named Donald, nothing to do with Trump! The distillery love visitors so if you’re ever in the area, you’re able to take a tour or even go for a “Make Your Own Gin” class.
This handcrafted small batch gin takes its name from Lilliard, a Scottish Borders legend. A heroine of the Battle of Anchur Moor between the Scottish and English in 1545, which took place just north of where Lilliard Gin is now created.
ASK THE CREATOR - Kate Macinnes
To find out more about Lilliard Gin, I got in touch with Lead Distiller, Kate Macinnes and here's what she had to say...
How did you get into making gin and where did the idea of Lilliard Gin come from?
After 19 years of doing a career that I fell into accidentally, I needed a change. I wan’t to create something, and I wanted to work in a field that I was passionate about. The shortlist was Gin & Pyjamas. I can’t sew, so gin it was!
It’s brilliant to see that so many people got behind you on Crowdfunder, over doubling your target! What made you decide to use Crowdfunder to create Lilliard Gin?
Actually we already had the funding in place for the business, but there was so much interest locally in us, that we wanted to give people a chance to buy the first batch as Christmas gifts – it all took us a bit by surprise!
Your distillery must be one of, if not the smallest in the UK. Why did you decide to transform a cowshed into your micro-distillery and how many bottles do you produce in each batch in your tiny copper still, Donald?
The distillery was going to be in my utility room initially, but our friends at Born in the Borders found out what we were up to and offered us premises – it seemed like the perfect fit because we sit right next door to their brewery, but the cowshed is actually much bigger a space than we had planned on using! The still is only 60 litres, which is crackers, but luckily he is just about coping with demand!
Apart from your own, what's your favourite gin and why?
I love Napue from Finland and Valentia from Spain. Napue is fragrant and really elegant, and Valentia is fabulously fresh and zingy.
What’s next for Lilliard Gin?
Getting through our first Christmas! We have something lovely up our sleeves…
Describe your gin in 3 words…
SCOTTISH BORdERS SUMMERTIME
Thank you to Kate at Lilliard for helping me out with this blog post, I can't wait to see what you have up your sleeves for Christmas!