Blackdown Distillery is an innovative award-wining producer of finely crafted spirits. Established in 2012, the Distillery is situated in the foothills of Blackdown Hill, South Downs National Park, West Sussex. As one of Guernsey Cocktail Week’s sponsors, we caught up with Blackdown co-founder, Sarah, to find out more…
Would you give us a brief introduction to Blackdown Distillery and your role there?
Blackdown Distillery, is very unique. The oldest distillery winery-distillery in the UK and the only distillery in Sussex. We are very proud of the heritage we have at Blackdown and the diversity of our business. One of my main roles as well as product innovation and driving our business forward, is that we work with start up drinks producers, a ‘cuckoo winery-distillery’; this can be something as simple as consultancy advice through to liquid development, production, route to market and investment. It keep our business fresh, innovative and investment free!
So, silver birch, what’s the story behind using it in your drinks?
Traditionally, Juniper, Pine and Silver Birch grow together and with over 40 acres of ancient woodland in which the Silver Birch Tree is in abundance, it seemed the natural choice. A sustainable botanical which we can harvest every year using simple methods. The Birch sap enables us to create a smooth refined Gin, Vodka an Vermouth which gives us a unique style.
With 12 bars on-board for cocktail week, all using your creations, what are you most excited to see?
That is a hard question to answer, naturally looking forward to tasting everyones creations. I am looking for innovation but then also a cocktail which we can use within our signature range acknowledging the bartender and their creativity.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
My role is extremely diverse, but I love creating new and exciting drinks. 2017 we are planning to launch a new drink every month to showcase our portfolio and how unique Blackdown is.
What do you love most about Guernsey?
Its so relaxed here, and its a beautiful island.
Lastly, your favourite cocktail, if you please.
Has to be a Negroni, or my guilty pleasure would be a Pina Colada when I’m sitting on a hot beach.