The Story of Lytham Gin
Looking back, the decision to create Lytham Gin was an obvious one. Sara, a former chemist and chemistry teacher with a passion for flavour molecules and husband Paul, who spent most of his career working for one of the largest food and beverage manufacturers in the world, now wonder why it took so long to come up with the idea in the first place.
Sara has always loved gin. Even in the days before the rise of craft gin one of her favourite tipples was a Bombay Sapphire and tonic. When she left teaching in 2015 to try something new, her love of food and flavour led her to Le Roti on Park St in Lytham. She enjoyed cooking, baking and running her own business but soon began to miss the laboratory and the science that had played such an important part of her life.
During a weekend away in December 2017 she came up with the idea that Lytham deserved its own gin whilst looking at the menu in a gin bar with over 300 gins. In early 2018 she applied for the appropriate licenses and began experimenting. After turning her tiny utility room into a laboratory and spending a couple of months distilling, she produced the gin which is now the Original Lytham.
The first bottle of Lytham Gin was sold on the last day of April 2018 and initially the plan was to sell to the public from Le Roti and maybe supply a few of the local bars and restaurants. However, demand was so great that Sara had to very quickly step away from Le Roti and move out of the utility room.
‘’In those early days we tried to keep it a secret that the distilling was taking place in our garage. We had it plumbed properly and additional electrics installed. Industrial flooring and racking made it feel like workshop and it served its purpose until we were able to find a bigger unit. Drivers delivering pallets of bottles would often think they had come to the wrong address … until the garage doors opened and they saw a working distillery inside. We often wondered what the neighbours thought!’’
The distillery is now located in an industrial unit on Boundary Rd, right on the edge of Lytham. There is a small shop selling the gin and newly added rum and gin liqueurs as well as a tasting room where visitors can try all of the products or even spend time trying out perfect serves or attending a cocktail masterclass. Sessions are bookable on the Lytham Gin website and private functions can be organized by contacting the distillery directly.
Sara is very keen to use locally sourced botanicals as much as possible in her products. Lytham Gin Original contains samphire, collected on the beach not far from the windmill. It gives the gin a fresh flavour and silky feel. With a Great Taste Award, numerous medals and this year’s winner of the Gin Guide’s Traditional Gin category, it is no wonder it is her best seller. Other gins use locally picked blackberries, home-grown herbs, flowers and fruits and Fylde honey. There is a little bit of Lancashire in every bottle.
There are plenty of places selling Lytham Gin locally if you can’t make it to the distillery. Le Roti still sells it whilst Stringers carry the whole range and have a wonderful display. Pemberton’s Farm shop have a great selection and Booths and Majestic both stock a few varieties.
If you would like to find out more, head down to the distillery or to the website sandgrownspirits.co.uk