We met Andrew Emmerson of local distillers Solway Spirits at a tasting event in 2018, where we were at adjacent stalls. We struck up an immediate rapport, both discussing our belief in authenticity of products and our despair at some of the mass produced synthetic spirits that were flooding the market at that time, masquerading as quality gins. It wasn’t long before Andrew had agreed to make the base gins to combine with the hedgerow produce that we foraged to produce our range of very Cumbrian gins.
As Andrew explains, experimentation is their passion at Solway Spirits (right up there with testing the gins…). He and Kate started in their garage in 2010 on a homemade still. Now they produce their gins with two 120L alembic stills incorporating “gin baskets” for collecting superior flavours in their spirits.
For the base gins that compliment our fruit syrups Solway Spirits use their favoured botanicals of juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelica, lemon peel, orange peel and orris root.To add to the Lakeland character of our gins we have been supplying Kate and Andrew with wild juniper berries that we have foraged from the juniper bushes that still grow across the Lake District. Many of our gins are hazy, as to preserve the flavour of our syrups they are only lightly strained, leaving both fruit and flavour in the gins.
Andrew has worked wonders with whatever flavours we have suggested and is now heavily involved in producing specially designed “house gins” for several of our customers.In keeping with our ethos of quality and authenticity all of our gins are 40% abv, proper full strength real gins.
Our first flavours were fruits foraged in the hedgerows and green lanes of Cumbria and made into syrups by ourselves, which Andrew and his wife Kate then blend with their gins to make our range.
The most traditional flavoured gin, deep purple and very sweet, it can be drunk neat or with a mixer.
A super food with vastly more Vitamin C pound for pound than oranges, an obvious part of a healthy diet??
The classic hedgerow berries, prickly to pick, but giving a dark sweet flavoursome gin.
Made with local elderflowers infused in a syrup made with honey from Borrowdale to make a light delicate gin.
A traditional dry gin, made using wild junipers foraged from around Lakeland. It is flavoured with botanicals including lovage from the kitchen garden, giving subtle celery and black pepper flavours.
Made from Rhubarb that has been growing adjacent to the brewery for as long as anyone in the village can remember. We now heap our used hops onto the veg garden, which just helps the rhubarb to flourish.
Alison has tended the raspberries in the farmhouse garden getting a huge crop this year, which obviously just had to be made into gin.
We make bonfire toffee in our own kitchen to my Great Grandma’s recipe, which Andrew works his magic on and have a limited edition bonfire toffee gin ready for Halloween and Bonfire Night each year.
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