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The French Connection

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Today, a happy delegation from Tarbert returned from last night’s Scottish Gin Awards 2019 in Glasgow, carrying with them another award to put more strain on our distillery’s trophy shelf.

We were delighted to build on last year's prestigious Gin Distillery of the Year award by collecting the Exporter of the Year prize for 2019.

This accolade is a welcome one, and a reflection of the efforts we are making here in Harris to bring our island spirit to the wider world.

We now export Isle of Harris Gin to 16 different countries with more exciting news to come over the coming months for gin lovers across the Atlantic.

Meantime, it feels like a good opportunity to celebrate our connection with our French friends who have exemplified the relationship we strive to build as we grow globally

The team at La Maison Du Whisky, led by owner Thierry Bénitah, have been bringing the best of world spirits to the people of France for over 60 years.

We were honoured to welcome Thierry and his colleagues to Harris earlier this year to share our island story in person, and we're pleased to say he was so taken with the island that he returned for a holiday soon after.

In September, we were also delighted to be introduced to LMDW's partner bartender Maxime Potfer who joined us for a flying visit along with producer Bastien and filmmaker Stèphane.

Maxine is an impressive young bartender from the Experimental Cocktail Club and Golden Promise whisky bar in Paris and we were excited to learn about his work too.

This talented trio travelled from Paris to spend time exploring the Isle of Harris and discovering the natural bounty of our native botanicals from land and sea.

After meeting with our apothecarist Amanda Saurin and seaweed gatherer Lewis Mackenzie, Maxime set about creating three island-inspired cocktails with our Isle of Harris Gin.

Served between mountain and moor, he first made a classic Dry Martini with our gin, Rancio Sec (a style of oxidatively-aged dry wine), tincture of rhubarb, crushed lemon and a garnish of pickled fennel.

From our machair-land came a cocktail created with Harris Gin, liquorice-infused honey syrup, verjuice, barley tea and a sage leaf garnish.

Finally, on a windswept Luskentyre beach, Maxime put his own twist on the classic gin and tonic with Amontillado sherry, orange blossoms infused with burnt ceps, and a chocolate and salt-flower garnish.

It was all quite wonderful to witness and we thank Maxine and all at La Maison Du Whisky for, quite literally, going the extra mile to spread the good word of our distilling work.

So, please enjoy the brilliant film they’ve made with Maxime, also starring Amanda and Lewis, and see some fabulous Harris scenery along the way!

PS: Be sure to switch on the subtitles unless you speak fluent French!


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