North's first gin and spirit school launched

Husband and wife team Stuart and Barbara Hughes of Hughes Craft Distillery

THE north's first gin and spirit school has opened its doors in Co Down.

Moira-based, Hughes Craft Distillery is offering customers the chance to learn from its in-house expert and make their own gin or vodka as part of the first-of-its-kind marketplace experience.

Hughes Craft Distillery owner, Barbara Hughes said:

"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."

"Home distilling is illegal in many countries including the UK and Ireland, but we've taken care of all the licensing, legalities, 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," she added.

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.

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