Tom and Nicola’s surname is not Sixling, although you would be forgiven for thinking so! They are a husband and wife team, who lived in the UK for a long time, and could see the Gin boom that was happening there, long before it took hold here in Ireland. What started as a passing interest in collecting their favourite gins, became a greater passion and soon they were hosting gin parties and visiting distilleries all across the UK.
He was a finance director and she a teacher and they spent two years researching how gin was distilled before moving home to Ireland to launch their own gin in the town of Dundalk in 2018. Nicola recalls: “We learned how you would start your own business distilling gin. When we got back home, we spent months and months perfecting our recipe. The gin that we are bottling now is the 22nd iteration.”
The gin is made from cloudberry – a fruit in the same family as blackberries and raspberries. The cloudberry is no longer native to Ireland, so Sixling import the unique ingredient from Sweden.
Nicola describes the berry as having “a deliciously bitter, tart taste”, which is mixed with other flavours to give Sixling gin a “lovely, fruity, herbal finish”.
The product, which is Ireland’s only cloudberry gin is now brewed just outside of Dundalk in Tenure and is made using elderflower from the Cooley mountains. Tom added:
“We want to expand with a portfolio of spirit brands nationwide and then abroad.”
They were both delighted at the prospect of introducing Sixling to TheGinBox.ie subscribers and they were particularly excited at being the first gin of the new year. They decided to have Sixling glasses made for TheGinBox.ie at the end of 2021. As you can see the glasses are classic gin and tonic shaped bowls and while a lot of work for our team to get them to you in perfect condition, we hope they will sit pride of place in your gin cabinet for the rest of 2022!
Tom and Nicola suggest they have tried Sixling with over 70 different tonic waters and their preference is a light Irish tonic water. We tried Sixling with Poachers, Fentimans and Schweppes tonic water and felt that Schweppes light tonic water was perfect. Whatever tonic water you choose, the key here is allowing the gin to thrive.
Hadji Bey has been part of Irelands food tradition since 1902, when a young Armenian named Harutun Batmazian brought exotic fruits to the great Cork exhibition and began selling them there. Will we see Scandinavian cloudberries for sale across Ireland years from now?! Who knows! If they were available, we’d have included some for you, but these exotic fruit jellies were a close second for this month’s gin box!
Enjoy your gin this month and raise a glass to Tom, Nicola and Harutun!
Juniper, coriander seeds, angelica root, cloudberry, grapefruit, elderflower, orris root, cardamom, cassia bark