It was a busy weekend in Lanesboro with the Taste of the Lakelands Food Festival taking place in the Lough Ree town on Saturday and Sunday. And what better way to kick off this year's festival than with the launch of a local gin?
Lough Ree Distillery officially launched its Sling Shot Gin on Friday night in the Taste of the Lakelands marquee with complimentary gin and tonics available to approximately 400 guests on the night.
Launched by brothers, Peter and Michael Clancy, and their sister, Sheila Mullen, the unique gin is a very special blend of citrus, mint and a local ingredient: peat.
On Friday night, the team came together to give a brief demonstration of how to distil and blend the ingredients and, more importantly for those assembled: how to drink it.
Sling Shot Gin is being distilled in a custom-built distillery in Lanesboro while construction of the state-of-the-art Lough Ree Distillery and visitor centre is underway, 50 metres away, ahead of its official opening in mid-2019.
Sling Shot is the first ever gin to distil peat as a botanical, making it unique among competitors in the Irish market.
By using peat as a botanical, it adds depth and complexity to the gin, giving it a full-bodied flavour.
Speaking at the special event to mark the occasion, a very proud Peter Clancy, CEO of Lough Ree Distillery, said:
“This is a landmark moment for Lough Ree Distillery and a fitting way to celebrate the occasion.
“We’re overjoyed at the positive response we’ve received from the local community and we’re excited for our distillery and visitors' centre to become an integral part of the Hidden Heartlands tourism offering next year.
“Sling Shot gin is the first in a long line of spirits that we will be developing over the coming years.
“The gin market in Ireland and across Europe is growing exponentially and we’re excited to be part of that growth. We look forward to the future and hope that everyone loves our Sling Shot gin as much as we do.”
The gin is the first in a line of planned Lough Ree Distillery spirits that will include whiskey, vodka, liqueurs, poitín, and fruit spirits.
Lough Ree Distillery’s Sling Shot gin is available for purchase at Longford, Roscommon and Westmeath off licences as well as the Celtic Whiskey Shop in Dublin.
Over the coming months, the gin will become available in off licences and supermarkets nationwide. The Sling Shot gin comes at a recommended retail price of €44.99.
The third annual Taste of the Lakelands Food Festival was a huge success in Lanesboro, attracting foodies from all over Longford and beyond to the marquee, which held a range of demonstrations and events over the course of the weekend.