OK, so I've got some social media, lots of lovely followers, a shiny new website and a blog. All sorted, but where to begin?
There are many things I want to share, but what is the best topic to start with? With so many new and exciting brands around it's tricky. But I've given it a lot of thought and it has to be Jura and it has to be Lussa Gin!
Jura is one of the Inner Hebridean islands off the West Coast of Scotland and has a year round population of around 200 people. It can be reached by car ferry from the mainland, via the neighbouring island of Islay. Jura is unspoilt and home to a wide variety of wildlife including thousands of deer and boasts wonderful natural, rugged habitats. It has been made famous through the connection with George Orwell's novel 1984, where he chose Jura for his writing in order to enjoy isolation and solitude. The Corryvreckan Whirlpool is at the northern tip of the island between Jura and Scarba and is quite a sight as the tide turns.
Our family connections with the island date back to the early 1950's, when my mother stayed with her friend during the summer holidays. Her friend's father was the island doctor and she has recounted many tales of him visiting patients in some isolated and inaccessible places. My mother's memories are happy and fun-filled and she could not wait to share them with her children. I was lucky enough to be taken as a child too and enjoyed many special camping holidays at Corran Sands. Memories of hot summers, bare feet, salty hair, my Fox Terrier followed by a Shetland Collie, riding ponies owned by a relative of one of the ladies making the gin and waking up to the warmth of the sun on the tent and the sound of the sea lapping nearby.
The next generation enjoys Jura now and have fallen in love with it just as much. A cottage near the beach, our black Labrador and lots of new memories have been made since the 1990's.
And so to that spirit.
Three ladies Claire Fletcher, Georgina Kitching and Alicia MacInnes have started Lussa Gin and are doing some great things. They're not just gin lovers, they're adventurers! They grow, gather and distill local botanicals and they say that location is everything. I get that ! All the botanicals they could ever need are right on their doorstep. The gin is made at the northern end of the island at Ardlussa with lots of love and passion for their product and their beautiful place.
How could Gin that is made in such a wonderful place, not be very good and very special!