Shortcross, a gin fit for a Queen

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens creates estate’s first ever gin

Having welcomed everyone from presidents to princesses, the team at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens know a thing or two about perfection.

Now, for the first time in the estate’s history, they’ve applied this same dedication to hand-selecting home grown botanicals to create a gin unlike any other, working with experts from Northern Ireland’s first craft gin distillery, who distil the award-winning Shortcross Gin.

Created by Historic Royal Palaces (the independent charity responsible for the castle’s care) in partnership with Rademon Estate, this special Hillsborough Castle and Gardens Shortcross edition goes on sale exclusively via from 2 February, priced at £40.

With only 400 bottles produced, this limited-edition botanical gin features rose petals hand-picked from the Castle’s Granville Rose Garden. Named after its creator, Lady Rose Bowes-Lyon – aunt to Her Majesty The Queen and wife of the Earl of Granville, the second Governor of Northern Ireland – this elegant garden features a delicate combination of climbing, rambling and hybrid tea roses, the fragrance of which is a signature of the gin’s resulting blend.

Blended with apples and pears foraged from Hillsborough’s recently restored eighteenth century Walled Garden, the resulting recipe is a celebration of the castle’s natural landscapes, with a scent of summer roses and green orchards, and a refreshing long, sweet citrus and smooth oily finish.

Laura McCorry, Head of Hillsborough Castle, said: ‘We’re delighted to have been able to work with the experts at Rademon Estate to make our dream of bottling something of Hillsborough Castle’s essence a reality. Like the Castle itself, gin is something of a Georgian success story, so it seems particularly fitting that both seem to be enjoying a renaissance in the twenty-first century!’

David Boyd-Armstrong, Founder and Head Distiller of the Rademon Estate Distillery, said: ‘To be given the opportunity to create the first gin ever for Historic Royal Palaces was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We were able to use botanicals from the Hillsborough Castle walled garden and from the Granville Rose Garden, allowing us to create a totally unique gin that encapsulates Hillsborough Castle and its surroundings.’

At 100 acres, the Hillsborough estate has provided inspiration to everyone from politicians to picnickers for over three centuries. A joy to explore whatever the season, Hillsborough’s gardens include ornamental grounds, peaceful woodland, meandering waterways and picturesque glens, all of which provided inspiration for the gin’s unique flavour profile.

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