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Friday, April 3, 2020

Aberdeenshire gin company looks to the future

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AN ABERDEENSHIRE gin company is celebrating success after only three months of trading.

Owner of Ellon Gin, Kieren Murphy, is now looking to expand the business and launch new flavours.

The 26-year-old is the mastermind behind the popular gin strawberry liqueur which kick started the business.

It’s currently stocked by six bars and three retailers across the North-east with Kieren aiming to see it in stores across Scotland.

He said:  “Since we started trading the response has been amazing.  It was a long process to get here but it’s all been worth it.”

It was in November 2018 that Kieren started to think about how he could make his own gin liqueur and came up with the idea of trying strawberries.  The company was started up in February last year and after waiting for licences attended their first selling event in December.

He said:  “I used to drink cider and did try making it but it was never that great. So I decided to give gin a go.  I just had to think how I would do it.

“I love strawberries but there’s not many making a liqueur with it.  It’s a different fruit.  We trialled tonnes of recipes and the amount of strawberries we use is ridiculous.  It’s kilos and kilos.”

Kieren, who still works full time as a retail store manager, currently makes the liqueur in his kitchen with some help from his fiancé Steph Edwards.  Each batch, made in 75 litre pots, takes a month until ready and produces 100 bottles.  They are all then labelled by hand.  The hope is to buy new equipment which would see productivity increase to 400 bottles.

The gin is infused with the strawberries and sugar

The gin, which is made to his own recipe, is currently made at a factory in Herefordshire and arrives at 96% proof and is then infused with the strawberries and sugar.

He said:  “The gin comes in a 96% so it’s strong.  We add the fruit and mix it to 20%.  It’s made to our recipe.  I spent some time coming up with it and it really compliments the strawberries.  All that goes in is fruit and a bit of sugar.  There’s no chemicals or preservatives.

“ One day we want to make the gin ourselves but we don’t have a residential distillery licence.”

At the moment he is working on two new gin liqueurs – Mango and Mixed Fruits – which he hopes to launch in May.  The mixed fruits will be made of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

Kieren, who is dad to four-month-old Hamish, said:  “I started trying different recipes in January and need to make sure it is just right.  You’ve got to think of the different flavours.  It’s great to be expanding and launching new flavours.”

The main goal one day is for Kieren to expand the business and run Ellon Gin full-time.  He said:  “With the new baby and full-time work it is tough but it’s rewarding and something I’ve always wanted to do.

“My days off, mornings and evenings, I’m working on everything.  I’ve not had a day off in five months.  But everything is progressing and that’s the main thing for me.

“I’d love to be supplying the whole of Scotland.  That is my aim.”

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