Think of Skegness, and most people’s thoughts probably turn to family fun, seaside amusement ride thrills and the home of Britain’s first Butlins resort.
But just 300 yards from the award-winning Blue Flag beach, visitors can find a distillery producing Jolly Fisherman Skegness Gin and one of the world’s hottest rums (thanks to fiery chilli) – as well as a gin school and bottle shop.
Spirit of Skegness also produces Spirit of Stonewall, now available nationally, which was created by the Skegness based family business to raise money for LGBTQ+ charities and help the campaign for acceptance and equality.
This summer, the gin was launched in luxury retailer Harvey Nichols’ stores, with Spirit of Skegness also working in partnership with the retailer to run a series of Cocktail Masterclasses and an exclusive Pride Cocktail.
Back in Skegness, the distillery not only produces spirits in the heart of one of the UK’s most popular seaside destinations, but also a range of experiences, from a bit of ‘Hanky Panky’ (cocktail classes) to the Skegness Gin School.
Set-up in 2019, the family run business has gone from strength to strength and in June 2021 the distillery brought in a new still – the first South American-made still to be installed in the UK.
‘Dora the Distiller’ a 300L copper bain-marie pot, named in memory of distillery founder Richard Longworth’s late mum Dora Patricia, is now helping the company meet new demand for its premium gin brands.
As well as the Stonewall Spirits brand – inspired by the 1969 Stonewall Riots – the distillery’s trademark drinks include the Jolly Fisherman Skegness Gin and the spicy hot Mrs Riggalls Fiery Chilli Rum, said to be one of the world’s hottest.
And for a traditional taste of seaside sweet treats, Spirit of Skegness has a range of Old Sweet Liqueurs, using extra smooth London Dry with a few added sweet ingredients to create blends including Pear Drop and Candy Floss.
For a seaside tipple, the Distillery’s bottle shop has a tasting bar, while along with the Skegness Gin School, there are also Distillery tours, which include complimentary drinks and a visit to meet ‘Dora’ the still.
You can also mix a bit of history with your gin sampling. Combine a Gin Experience with an insight into John Hassall, one of Britain’s best-known artists of his time, who came-up with an iconic railway poster for Skegness – creating the famous Jolly Fisherman image and ‘Skegness is SO bracing’ logo in 1908.
Today the Jolly Fisherman is forever linked to the seaside destination, and a statue of the legendary mascot stands proudly on the seafront, while Hassall’s original artwork, now owned by Skegness Town Council, is on display at the resort’s Tower Gardens Pavilion.
For more information about the distillery, visit www.spiritofskegness.co.uk
For details about visiting Lincolnshire, see www.visitlincolnshire.com