It’s fair to say 2 of my favourite things in life are Durham and Gin. Being a proud life long Durham girl, it is music to my ears that there is now such a thing as Durham Gin!
Durham Gin, based in Langley Park, is a small batch craft distillery which started producing it’s first batching in January 2014.
Set up and run by Jon Chadwick and David Wilkinson, both Durham locals, Durham Gin was conceived after a boozy trip to New York opened the door to the craft spirits world. With both Jon and David not being from the distilling world, David took himself off to gain an MSc in Brewing and Distilling and armed with a legion of supporters, set up in Durham.
Jon and David are obviously the best people to explain the techy bit of the distilling process so they have very kindly filled me in on the details!
We have a 400L handmade copper Gin still which was custom built for us in Portugal. It has a proper Gin basket and a worm tub -an old fashioned condensor like you would find in a traditional whisky distillery. We use 10 botanicals – some traditional Gin flavours like Juniper and Coriander – and some unique flavours like pink peppercorn. We also use natural spring water from Leasingholme drawn by our pal Alan Shoulder. The resulting Gin has a light floral nose, smooth on the pallette with a long finish. We do everything by hand adding the botanicals at 3 different stages in the process – some we macerate in cold alchohol, some we add into the still, and some we put in the Gin basket. We discard roughly 37% of everything that we make – to make sure that we have the smoothest cleanest taste. We do all of this by hand, tasting the Gin throughout the process to make sure it tastes right – it is a tough job, but we are dedicated.
Making 200 bottles of gin a week (mmm!!) Jon and David both also think Durham is the best place ever which thankfully do some of their suppliers. You can find Durham Gin in Majestic Wine, Fenwicks in Newcastle, Durham Cricket Club, Radisson Blu and the Airport in Newcastle!
Durham Gin will be hosting their very first pop up shop during the May Day bank holiday weekend (May 3rd – 5th 12:30 – 5:00) turning the old Goldsmiths unit in Prince Bishops in to a mini distillery with their baby copper still along with dishing out gin samples, mixing up cocktails as well as showcasing their new fruit liquers.
I hope to see you all there. I’ll probably be the drunk in the corner wearing the I heart Durham tshirt!