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SLIABH LIAG DISTILLERS

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Memories of Asia

Before we set off on the adventure that has become our lives in Sliabh Liag (Christmas 2014) we had set off in September 2012 on another adventure we packed up our lives in Woking and took our three younger children on a huge adventure to live on the other side of the world in Hong Kong and what an adventure it was.

We moved into a tiny flat on Blue Pool Road in Happy Valley where we were arrested by the exciting sights, sounds and smells of Asia.

Rosie and Aidan went off in their purple school uniforms to Kennedy School only for us to pick them up after their first day and tell them that we had found them another school with Declan and that they were off to Peak School in the morning. However, Rosie was delighted to come home after her second day in her new school announcing that they were no longer the new children, some new kids had joined the class. This is how Hong Kong was for us, a whirlwind merry-go-round, a vibrant melting pot of cultures and peoples many just transiting through but all some how leaving an impression.

I wasn’t sure that I would settle into our new life which Declan said was “Too full up and smells funny”, it was definitely too full up and claustrophobic for me but I grew to love it and was sad when we left. Jim and I returned a couple of years later to meet distributors and investors and it felt like we had arrived home.

I do miss the hot sticky heat, and the contradictory savoury and sweet aromas and flavours of Hong Kong – which means “Fragrant Harbour” for a reason – so Jim and I decided to capture these in a new gin, An Dúlamán Memories of Asia. Who better to help me than Declan and he and I set about distilling a whole series of botanicals from Asia as we searched for those comforting aromas that said “home”.

We settled on Kaffir Lime leaves – all heady and aromatic sweet and lovely; Sakura (Japanese Cherry Blossom in Salt) – for its delicate floral nuance; Hibiscus for the heady intense aroma; Sesame Seeds – for the nutty, creamy character; Star Anise (lots) – for that intense sweet spiciness that may just polarise opinion; Oolong tea – for the drying briskness; Ginger – for its spicy heat that replaces the umami spice of the pepper dulse.

The base recipe of juniper, coriander, angelica, cassia, lemon and orange peel remains and because it is An Dúlamán we have kept two seaweeds, sugar kelp and channel wrack (dulaman) kept the core of An Dulaman true to the Donegal coast and I hope my Asian overlay surprises and delights you.

An Dúlamán Memories of Asia is bottled at 41% ABV and while I love it they thought it was good at San Franciso Spirit Awards too where we were thrilled to win a Gold medal!

An Dúlamán is on its travels again as I remember my childhood in Zimbabe, this time our kiss of the sea brings you a warm hug from Africa

Moira x