Belfast Telegraph

Dromore teen creates Northern Ireland's first alcohol-free gin

Inspired by a recent Duke of Edinburgh award project, Dromore based teenager, Hana Hughes (16) has created Northern Ireland’s first alcohol-free gin with local distillery, Hughes Craft Distillery.

The gin, named Driver’s Gin, was distilled in the family owned distillery located in Moira, Co Down, using a range of botanicals such as juniper, coriander, cubeb, black peppercorn & sweet orange. It is also sugar and calorie free.

Hana’s hope is that Driver’s Gin will offer an alcohol-free alternative to people who don’t drink alcohol or are taking part in the Sober for October campaign, without compromising on flavour.

“I had a keen interest in learning a new skill, and when reading the list I was given at a Duke of Edinburgh awards meeting I was initially surprised to see brewing and wine making as suggestions," said Hana.

"I knew the resources available to me at my parent’s distillery were unique and I set myself a challenge to learn how to distill a non-alcoholic gin. When I had finished distilling two recipes I measured the alcohol and they were both 0% ABV. I had to ask for help from people who like the taste of gin and I was relieved and really happy when they said my recipe tasted great. I serve it with Fever-tree tonic and a slice of orange.”

The gin has been so well received that it has now been made available in Hughes Craft Distillery and the StillHouse gastropub in Moira.

Barbara Hughes, owner of Hughes Craft Distillery and Hana’s mother, said: "Hana is a very focused young lady who pays so much care and attention to all of her school studies. When she takes on a new project or hobby she gives it 100% commitment and she has taken on the Duke of Edinburgh awards with such enthusiasm.

"Hana’s Driver’s Gin really is a special drink and we are very proud of her. To be able to offer non-alcoholic gin to visitors to Hughes Craft Distillery or the StillHouse gastropub is really amazing and perfectly timed for those taking part in Sober for October campaign.”

Hughes Craft Distillery was established in 2010 by husband and wife team Stuart and Barbara. They were the first small-batch spirits producer in Northern Ireland ahead of the craft spirits movement.

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