By SAM BUTLER
Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, the famed stately home, has launched its own gin using unique botanicals grown on the estate.
It’s the first time in the estate’s history that it has produced a gin unlike any other by working with experts from Northern Ireland’s first craft gin distillery, who distil the award-winning Shortcross Gin.
Created by Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity responsible for the castle’s care, in partnership with Rademon Estate Distillery in Crossgar, the special Hillsborough Castle and Gardens Shortcross edition is now on sale through its website, priced at £40.
With only 400 bottles produced, this limited-edition botanical gin features rose petals hand-picked from the castle’s Granville Rose Garden.
Named after its creator, Lady Rose Bowes-Lyon, the Queen’s aunt and wife of the Earl of Granville, the second Governor of Northern Ireland, this elegant garden features a delicate combination of climbing, rambling and hybrid tea roses, the fragrance of which is a signature of the gin’s resulting blend.
Blended with apples and pears foraged from Hillsborough’s recently restored 18th century Walled Garden, the resulting recipe is a celebration of the castle’s natural landscapes, with a scent of summer roses and green orchards, and a refreshing long, sweet citrus and smooth oily finish.
Laura McCorry, head of Hillsborough Castle, says: “We’re delighted to have been able to work with the experts at Rademon Estate to make our dream of bottling something of Hillsborough Castle’s essence a reality.
“Like the castle itself, gin is something of a Georgian success story, so it seems particularly fitting that both seem to be enjoying a renaissance in the 21st century!”
David Boyd-Armstrong, Rademon’s founder and head distiller, adds: “To be given the opportunity to create the first gin ever for Historic Royal Palaces was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“We were able to use botanicals from the Hillsborough Castle walled garden and from the Granville Rose Garden, allowing us to create a totally unique gin that encapsulates Hillsborough Castle and its surroundings.”
At 100 acres, the Hillsborough estate has provided inspiration to everyone from politicians to picnickers for over three centuries.
A joy to explore whatever the season, Hillsborough’s gardens include ornamental grounds, peaceful woodland, meandering waterways and picturesque glens, all of which provided inspiration for the gin’s unique flavour profile.
Hillsborough Castle and Gardens has been completely transformed by independent charity Historic Royal Palaces after following a five-year £24 million investment project – supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other generous donors.
Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle.
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