Co Antrim family distillery scores a first with new potato vodka
A Co Antrim family-run distillery is to begin selling Ireland's first potato vodka, it can be revealed.
And Lisburn-based Hughes Craft Distillery has landed deals with top online retailers such as Ocado and Amazon, as well as selling their premium product to holidaymakers visiting Ireland at Dublin Airport.
The newly released drink, called RubyBlue Vodka, is the first in Ireland to be distilled from potatoes.
It's the brainchild of husband and wife team Stuart and Barbara Hughes.
Stuart Hughes said the latest deals are "the outcome of extensive taste tests and are marvellous endorsements of the quality" and flavours of the spirits.
"We have been seeking to strengthen our range and distribution in Britain, Ireland and further afield for some time and saw a gap in the market for a potato vodka.
"We also saw an opportunity from the developing trend, particularly in high-end hotels, cocktail bars and restaurants, for craft spirits with provenance and outstanding taste."
The 40% volume tipple is said to have a "buttery and well-rounded" taste with an "earthiness and a long, clean finish".
The couple have been producing a range of fruit liqueurs under their RubyBlue range since 2010, when the company first formed.
And sales director Barbara Hughes said "the initial response has been amazing.
"The first batch pre-sold within a few days of announcing it and now we are working to fulfil orders to some of the best-known online retailers, local bars, and restaurants and off-licences.
"We've used our long-standing experience in distilling our very successful range of berry liqueurs to create a distinctive potato vodka."