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New Irish distillery unveils first craft gin

Rademon Estate Distillery, claimed to be the first and only craft distillery to be established in Northern Ireland, has launched its first product, Shortcross Gin.  

The distillery was founded in 2012 by husband and wife team Fiona and David Boyd-Armstrong, and is located on the family estate outside Downpatrick, County Down.

David Boyd-Armstrong says: “We had always wanted to create our own business and to work together. Fiona had always talked about how exciting it would be build a distillery and produce a premium Irish product. As we explored the idea further we became fascinated and inspired by the quality of craft spirits products being produced across the globe. This led to us looking hard at the costs involved and developing a business plan that would work for us.  It was then that we decided to take the plunge and launch Rademon Estate Distillery, it has taken two and a half years to get this point where we have launched Shortcross Gin.”

Shortcross Gin is the first small batch, craft spirit to be launched under the Shortcross brand by Rademon Estate Distillery.  It is described as an aromatic and exceptionally long, smooth Gin that redefines what an Irish gin should be.  Created through the use of fresh apples, elderberries and clover distilled with other botanicals including juniper, coriander, orange peel, lemon peel and cassia, it has a classic yet contemporary flavour with a long peppery finish

The Distillery is passionate about hand crafting and creating only the finest, artisan premium spirits products.  In creating Shortcross Gin, David and Fiona take the time and passion to ensure that every aspect of their gin is perfected by hand. From handpicking and sourcing the finest botanicals, drawing their own fresh water, distilling in a bespoke copper still, to bottling and labelling, every element of Shortcross Gin is created by hand to meet the couples exacting standards for exceptional quality.

Fiona Boyd-Armstrong adds: “From the moment of making that very first sale, the response has been phenomenal. We have been overwhelmed by the support of everyone.”

The branding, packaging and design was all undertaken Paperjam Design in Belfast. 

The name for the gin comes from the Gaelic for Crossgar - ‘An Chrois Ghearr’ meaning ‘the short cross’. Crossgar is the location of the distillery in County Down, Northern Ireland.

“We began to create a visual style for the brand and packaging that reflected the quality and uniqueness of their gin and would appeal to a high-end market,” explains Vicki Johnson at Paperjam.

“We focused on the heritage associated with the name shortcross and, after some research, discovered the short cross penny. The coin dates back to the 10th century and was one of the most successful English coin designs in history. Paperjam sourced an original coin and took high-resolution scans to incorporate into the overall shortcoss brand, before presenting the penny to David and Fiona.

“We also wanted to focus on the fact that the gin distilled by the couple would be handcrafted and a one of a kind artisan product. The design team therefore created packaging that would incorporate the batch number handwritten on the inside of the bottle, giving each product an added feeling of craftsmanship.

The couple selected a bottle design with a heavy base, giving the additional feeling of a high end, premium product. To compliment the bottle, Paperjam created a label design printed on the highest quality GF Smith paper -Strathmore Pastelle, in Bright White, 216gsm, and finished the labels in foil using CMI Print Services. Three foils were used – silver, bronze and black – to create the finished label, which is applied to each bottle of gin by hand. And as a final finishing touch, each bottle is dipped in black wax.

Shortcross Gin is 46%abv with an RRP of £34.99. It being is distributed by James Nicholson Wine Merchants and Prohibition Drinks and now has listings in leading bars and restaurants across Northern Ireland.


18 June 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor