Teenager creates new alcohol free ‘gin’

A teenager has created Northern Ireland’s first alcohol-free gin, having been given free rein to create the ‘spirit’ at her parent’s distillery as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Hana Hughes

Hana Hughes, 16, from Dromore, came up with the idea for a sugar and calorie-free ‘Driver’s Gin’ upon brainstorming what “new skill” to learn as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

With her parent’s distillery, Hughes Craft Distillery, at her disposal, the teen set about creating an alcohol-free gin, joining a growing movement of distillers creating non-alcoholic ‘spirits’.

Hughes Craft Distillery was founded in 2010 by husband and wife Stuart and Barbara, with RubyBlue potato vodkas their flagship brand.

Speaking to the Irish News, Hana said: “I knew the resources available to me at my parent’s distillery were unique and I set myself a challenge to learn how to distil a non-alcoholic gin.”

Her recipe for Driver’s Gin includes botanicals of juniper, coriander, black peppercorns, cubeb’s and sweet orange.

The drink has since been made available at her family’s gastropub in Moira, Co. Down.

She said she hoped Driver’s Gin will offer an alcohol-free alternative to people who do not drink alcohol or are taking part in the sober for October campaign.

Hana’s creation comes at a time when non-alcohol spirits are growing in importance, with a younger generation increasingly choosing to shun booze.

According to a study published in the journal BMC Public Health, the number of young people in the UK choosing to not drink has risen to almost a third, with abstinence becoming increasingly “mainstream”. Of those surveyed, 29% regarded themselves as non drinkers, up from 18% in 2005.

A number of non-alcoholic spirits are now available, including Seedlip, which has the financial backing of Diageo, and is now available in Marks and Spencer.

More recently, Pernod Ricard signed a deal to launch and distribute South African/Swedish brand Ceder’s in the UK, which describes itself as a “non-alcoholic alt-gin made with classic gin and South African botanicals”.

The non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ was launched in early 2017 by husband and wife team Craig Hutchison (South African) and Maria Sehlstrom (Swedish).

Part of her @DofEd Hana developed non alcoholic Gin! Distilled from artesian Water & Botanicals This Drivers Gin might even keep you on track for #SoberforOctober 0%ABV #DriversGAndT #DriversGin #CraftDistillery #NonAlcholicSpirit #Moira #DesignatedDriver #YoungEntrepreneur pic.twitter.com/iy0UOVM1rM

One Response to “Teenager creates new alcohol free ‘gin’”

  1. David Clutton says:

    It cannot, and should not, be called ‘GIN’.
    Gin is defined in law.
    A non-alcoholic product is NOT GIN!

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