New gin created by three female entrepreneurs on Jura goes down a storm

A new gin distilled on a kitchen table in Jura by three female entrepreneurs is proving to be a sell-out success.

Published 16th Sep 2016
Updated 31 st Oct 2023
Claire Fletcher, 48, Alicia MacInnes, 37, and Georgina Kitching, 41, came up with the idea during a brain-storming session on how to create interesting jobs for women on the Hebridean island.

Now they venture out into the wilds of the Hebridean island to collect ingredients for their unique home brew.

READ MORE: 6 of Scotland’s best gin distillery tours

The adventurous trio board a rowing boat to harvest sea lettuce and climb trees to collect pine needles to create their Lussa Gin.

The first batch of  471 bottles was snapped up in ten days and the second batch, which has only just been bottled, is already reserved.

The gin lovers all live in the remote north end of Jura, the island labelled “ungettable” by author George Orwell, who wrote the classic book 1984 there.

Mrs Fletcher, who lives at Ardlussa House, said: “There are only 200 people on the island and there is a huge lack of opportunities for women on Jura. There is really not much except cooking and cleaning jobs and in an area which is predominantly an alcohol industry, gin making seemed an obvious way forward.”

Rather than importing all the ingredients for the gin, which contains 15 botanicals, the friends buy the pure alcohol and add what Jura has to offer, with local lemon thyme giving the gin, which is distilled on Mrs Fletcher’s kitchen table, its unique flavour.

READ MORE: 10 brand new Scottish Gins that we can’t wait to try

Mrs Fletcher said: “We get out our little red boat with the oars – Georgina used to row for Cambridge – and Ali goes armed with a fishing net to get sea lettuce, the bog myrtle in the gin comes from some quite wet muddy places and we climb trees to get pine needles, we also collect fresh lemon thyme from Jura, these are the things that are making it different.”

They are currently involved in a regeneration programme of the island’s home-grown juniper.

Jura honeysuckle, rose petals, water mint, ground elderflower, lime flowers, rosehips, lemon balm, orris and coriander are all used in the gin, along with spring water from Lussa glen.

Mrs Fletcher said: “We had a tasting night in the village hall and it was really busy, everyone here is incredibly supportive.”

The first batch went on sale last month.

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