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Belfast pub manager's new gin lifts his spirits

By John Mulgrew

A Belfast pub manager's dream of creating his own spirit brand has finally been realised with the launch of Jawbox Gin.

John Hewitt manager Gerry White unveiled Ireland's first 'single estate gin' last night. And it's set to hit the shelves of pubs, top bars and restaurants right across Northern Ireland. He's been working Co Down's Echlinville Distillery, in Kircubbin, to produce the top-end classic gin.

The new brand is a collaboration with distributor Drinksology, which is behind the ambitious design and overall presentation.

Gerry's thrown his weight and years working in the pub trade behind Jawbox, helping to design everything from the Victorian-style medicine bottle, branding, history, and recipe, with its heart firmly in Belfast.

He saw the meteoric rise in popularity of craft beer in Northern Ireland, and believed there was also a market for top-end gin.

"I know craft beer has been massive, but gin has always been my drink," he said.

And it's been a six-year labour of love, from finalising the recipe and designing the branding.

John said it had been "an amazing experience". He's used his 30 years in the pub trade and the distilling expertise of Echinville to develop the gin.

Echlinville is already producing award-winning spirits, with its Dunville's 10-year single malt walking away with a top gong at the World Whiskies Awards.

And Gerry is confident the gin will be a success, and appeal to the discerning palates of cocktail and drink lovers across the world.

"I would love to see it get to other parts of Europe, and as far afield as the US. The gin really is great quality," he said.

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