Cheers! Sara’s treat for gin fans in Leeds has tasty twist of civic pride

Sara Birkinshaw.
Sara Birkinshaw.
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It’s the drink that is providing a perfect tonic for gin lovers from Leeds.

The tipple in question is Leeds Gin and the person behind it is enterprising Sara Birkinshaw.

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She makes the gin in a one-woman distilling operation based in unassuming premises tucked away on an industrial estate in Hunslet.

The finished product – which features the civic symbol of an owl on its stylish looking bottles – is already going down a storm in pubs and bars across the city.

And helping to quench the thirst of revellers in Yorkshire’s unofficial capital is a real labour of love for 43-year-old Sara, whose background is in events management.

She told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It’s a great thing for me to be involved in as I drink gin – and lots of it!

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“I just came up with the idea of making my own one day and it seemed like common sense to give it a Leeds theme as I’ve spent most of my working life here and it has a special place in my heart.

“Our first official bottles were produced in March and so far the feedback has been really positive.

“I’m trying to get a strong base for my gin in Leeds and Yorkshire before I try taking it down south – but if it just ends up being big in the North then that’s good enough for me!”

Sara describes her alcoholic creation as a traditional dry gin with a heavy juniper taste.

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Her recipe also includes coriander seeds and cinnamon while a distinctive dash of local flavour comes with the inclusion of Yorkshire forced rhubarb from Oldroyd’s Farm near Rothwell as well as some Yorkshire Honey.

Sara normally tops off the drink with a slice of orange peel but others have served it up with everything from fresh root ginger to seasonal berries.

Bottles of Leeds Gin are available to buy from stockists including Latitude Wine & Liquor Merchant, on Cherry Tree Walk, off The Calls in Leeds city centre.

Venues in Leeds where the drink is served, meanwhile, include Headrow House, Hirst’s Yard, Roxy Lanes, Lazy Lounge, Vice & Virtue, The Wrens and Wapentake.

For further information, visit the www.leedsgin.com website.

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