Hotel gin is a real tonic

Peebles Hydro team in good spirits as new distillery and gin school launches

Peebles Hydro Gin
Stephen Leckie and wife Fiona enjoy a couple of gin and tonics from their new distillery.

A BORDERS hotel has expanded into distillation with the launch of its own distillery and gin school.

Peebles Hydro launched its 1881 Distillery – named for the year the hotel opened its doors – last month with a four-strong range of gins.

The range, available in both 70cl and 20cl bottles, is created using water from the hills behind the hotel.

It includes: London Dry, Pavilion Pink, Subtly Smoked (all 40% ABV) and Navy Strength (57% ABV).

The spirits have been developed by distiller Emma Millar, a graduate of the brewing and distilling course at Heriot-Watt University, together with Jamie Baxter of consultancy Craft Distilling Services.

The still itself is named Felicity, after the daughter of the hotel’s general manager, Patrick Diack.

In addition to the gins, four tonic waters have been developed under the brand Tonic 81: Premium, Light, Pink Grapefruit and Elderflower.

The gin school, meanwhile, boasts 26 individual copper stills and allows customers to learn about distillation and create their own gins. Every recipe will be kept on file so they can reorder more of the gin at a later date if they wish.

Both the distillery and school are located in what was the hotel’s original swimming pool.
Stephen Leckie, chairman of Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels, which owns Peebles Hydro, said: “We’re delighted that our dream of creating a gin school and distillery at Peebles Hydro has finally been realised. We’ve gathered an extremely talented team of experts to make the 1881 gin a reality and I am very proud of the final product. ”

“Whilst gin is soaring in popularity and distilleries are opening all over the country, what makes our gin unique is that it uses the same source of water from the rolling hills behind Peebles Hydro that made the hotel such a draw for people all over the UK nearly 140 years ago when the hotel first opened. ”

“We’re excited to be introducing the 1881 gin as our house gin across the Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels.”