See how gin is made at a Sunderland distillery as we celebrate World Gin Day

Gin lovers will be delighted to hear that World Gin Day is back again this year and to celebrate, we have taken a look inside a Sunderland-based gin distillery.

Saturday, 12th June 2021, 8:59 am

We’re celebrating world gin day today, Saturday, June 12 by going behind doors into WL Distillery in South Hetton to find out how local gin is made.

The distillery, which opened in 2019 produces two gins; their traditional 1st edition gin and their new gin Watermelon and Liquorice gin.

Managing director Scott Wilson-Laing said he opened his distillery to ‘put his own stamp’ on the gin world in a creative way.

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WL Distillery managing director Scott Wilson-Laing with juniper berries the main ingredients to produce gin.
WL Distillery managing director Scott Wilson-Laing with juniper berries the main ingredients to produce gin.

He said: “I got to that stage in my life where I wanted to do something creative when this opportunity came along I decided to go for it.

"I quite enjoy a gin and I think a lot of people like the variety of gins you can get – a few years ago the laws changed which meant small companies could make their own craft gin and at the time gin began to become more popular so it was the perfect storm.”

World gin day has been organised by Gin monkey since 2009 to celebrate getting ‘people together all around the world and raising a glass to gin’.

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WL Distillery managing director Scott Wilson-Laing starts the process of producing gin.

Scott says his distillery use ‘fresh handpicked’ ingredients before the gin is distilled in the North East for up to 12 hours.

The businessman said the inspiration for the fresh, natural ingredients comes from spending his summers in his grandad’s garden.

He said: “During the first lockdown we began making hand sanitisers to help out during the pandemic but now we’re back to business making gin.

"I think a lot of people enjoy having a gin outside and especially in the North East because there are some beautiful outdoor areas.”

WL Distillery managing director Scott Wilson-Laing starts the process of producing gin.

Scott added that tonic is usually the favourite to drink alongside his gin as it can ‘intensify’ the flavours.

He said: “Before now tonic water was used as an antidote for malaria – It’s supposed to be pure so it intensifies the flavours.

"My favourite gin is a fruit based gin, with sweet flavours but you can get any flavour gin now!”

See our ‘how gin is made’ video above for more information on the gin making process.

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