What did you get in gin?
The family farmed the land for almost 100 years, specifically pedigree beef cows over the last ten years. It become apparent to Gerard Singleton that neither he or his children saw their future in farming in its current manor. The pursuit and grant of funding from the Rural Development Funding known as LEADER enabled Gerard to diversify his farming activities and buildings into the production of Alcohol and firstly Gin. The project also made use of fresh water from a spring on the land and also is part powered by bio-mass boilers.
How did you get from the ideas to the finished products?
We have three products and have kept it quite simple in our approach. Our Signature Gin is our London Dry Gin, a must for any gin brand. The more modern Spiced Gin is a product our Head Distiller and Director Mark Long was keen develop, selfishly for his own tastes (Mark is the Son-in-Law to Gerard)!
Finally, to keep up with the market trends, a flavoured Gin was created, named Sunshine Gin after the endearing term 'Hello Sunshine' used to greet loved ones in Lancashire. It has a big hit of summer in its taste and uses honey from Lancashire honeybees on the farm as opposed to sugar, then finished with a combination of both fresh and freeze-dried Raspberries. It's a well rounded fruit gin for those Summer afternoons!
What's the distillery like and can you tell us about the distillation process?
The distillery is wonderful. Rustic, charming and full of character. Its clear to anyone visiting that the work to convert an old cow shed into a distillery has been done with thought, love and care. The distillery is used as a tourism site when not producing Cuckoo Gin. A bar that provides special nights for locals adorns one side, whilst tours and a workshop where customers can produce their own gin take place during the week.
Our still is a 500l copper column still, produced in Germany by Kothe. Its glorious in its looks. Once alcohol is produced, we use three techniques across our different Gins. Our Signature Gin is vapour infused through a carter head basket. The punchy Spiced Gin has its botanicals macerated over night in spirit whilst the Sunshine gin is compounded with honey and raspberries after distillation.
Is the distillery open of tours and what can visitors expect?
Tours take place twice a month, at a cost of £24, customers get the three Cuckoo Gins' perfect serves and a Cuckoo Cocktail on arrival, a talk highlighting the story of Cuckoo Gin and its creation from conception to the future plans, and a full guided tour of the equipment.
The Workshop priced at £95 gives customers all of the benefits of the tour, along with the chance to select botanicals, create a recipe, distil and take home their own bottle.
How would you describe your gins in 3 words?
Signature: Fresh, Mouth-watering, Long
Spiced: Savoury, Warming, Creamy
Sunshine: Fruity, Sweet, Clean
What's your favourite way to drink your gins?
Signature: Double Measure, Orange Peel, Sliver of Fresh Ginger, Fevertree Mediterranean Tonic
Spiced: Double Measure, Burnt Rosemary, Black Peppercorns, Fevertree Indian Tonic
Sunshine: Double Measure, Fresh Thyme, Lemon Peel, Raspberries, Fevertree Mediterranean Tonic or Elderflower Tonic
Your Sunshine Gin was the winner for the Flavoured Gin category in The Gin Guide Awards 2018 - can you tell us more about it?
It's expensive to make! We distill the usual suspects Juniper, Coriander, Angelica with Elderflower and Chamomile to give a floral base. A massive amount of Lemon peels are added along with Vanilla Pods to set things moving. After distillation we add our own honey from hives we have on the farm along with the Raspberries. This is filtered after a week, to give us a polished product. When you add tonic it turns pink!
What gins (other than your own!) would you always have on your gin shelf?
I've always been a huge fan if Gin Mare, I enjoy Defiance Navy Strength, and am just getting into the Lone Wolf range.
What's next for Brindle Distillery - any exciting plans?
A rum made from scratch with a wonderful story about a Brindle Cuckoo named Charles Lightoller. And we are currently putting whiskey down for maturation - the first Lancashire Malt Whiskey.
The Gin Guide's tasting notes and review of Cuckoo Sunshine Gin