Moira Co.Down based distillery, Hughes Craft Distillery has opened its doors to Northern Ireland’s first gin & spirit school. With the popularity of Gin ever growing in recent years Hughes Craft Distillery is offering the chance to learn from their in-house expert, choosing your own botanicals, distilling, labelling and taking home your very own 700ml bottle at the end of the class.

This very special spirit school is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and hopes to offer something quite unique to the marketplace.

Barbara Hughes (Owner of Hughes Craft Distillery) said;

“Local people have shown so much support for our small-batch spirit production over that last few years and have developed a curiosity of the distilling process and ingredients. With Northern Ireland’s first spirit school at Hughes Craft Distillery we give people the opportunity to learn the craft first-hand. From creating the recipe, choosing the ingredients, distilling their Gin or Vodka, choosing a name for the label before blending and bottling their creation to take home. It’s a very exciting and rewarding thing to be able to do, taking your finished bottle home to enjoy with family or friends is just the icing on the cake. Home distilling is illegal in many countries including the UK and Ireland but we’ve taken care of all the licensing, legality’s, duties and taxes within the cost of the experience. It really is wonderful to see peoples delight at being back at school for a few hours, although I have to say cocktails and canapes were never on our dinner hall menu.”

Hughes Craft Distillery was established in 2010 by husband and wife team Stuart and Barbara. They were the first small-batch spirits producer in Northern Ireland much ahead of the craft spirits movement.

Hughes Craft Distillery is known for their award-winning RubyBlue berry liqueurs in Blackcurrant, Cranberry, Wild Blueberry, Chilli Pepper varieties and is home to the first alcohol-free Gin in Northern Ireland. Launching RubyBlue Vodka – Ireland’s 1st Potato Vodka back in 2015 and collecting Gold at The Global Vodka Masters and Silver at The New York World Wine & Spirits Competition elevated the business in both home and export markets including Australia, UAE and Russia.

Hughes Craft Distillery offer classes for Gin | Vodka | Flavoured Vodka | Liqueur

Here’s what to expect:

  • Spirit School – Interactive Distilling Class
  • Tour, tasting and history of Hughes Craft Distillery
  • Choosing your botanicals, distilling, bottling, labelling of your own 700 ml spirit and all associated taxes and duties, to take home at the end of the class.
  • During the class you will have a lot of fun, enjoy a range of StillHouse Cocktails, and Canapes made by The StillHouse head chef, Dave McClelland using local seasonal ingredients.

Class lasts approximately 150 minutes, during the class the master distiller will take you through a range spirits and botanicals to help you decide which ingredients to use in your own copper still. Depending on the season ingredients can be foraged from our walled garden. You may also wish to bring herbs or berries from your own gardens or hedgerows

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