A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about The One – a new British blend from The Lakes Distillery, which is the first distillery to be built in Cumbria for more than a century. As well as making whisky and vodka, the distillery has also turned its hand to the spirit of the moment – gin.
Over the past five years, the UK gin industry has gone through a massive resurgence, with dozens of bespoke distilleries popping up throughout the UK. They are easier to get off the ground than whisky distilleries, as the producers have sellable content from day one, whereas whisky distilleries have to wait at least three years before they can sell any of their output. As well as using gin as a financial stop-gap, many distilleries are also choosing to produce it alongside their whisky output, including Bruichladdich and Eden Mill.
The Lakes Gin uses classical gin botanicals, including juniper, alongside other botanicals which are native to The Lake District, which includes bilberry, heather and meadowsweet. The botanicals are then brought together with the spirit in the distillery’s bespoke 1000 litre still. The resulting gin has a fresh citrusy flavour, with big juniper notes leading through to a floral sweetness. The straight spirit is slightly too harsh to drink on its own but it’s absolutely perfect for making G&Ts.
The Lakes Gin is currently flying the flag for gin production in the Lake District and flying it with pride. However, with such great raw materials right on their door-step, hopefully there will be more joining them soon.