Local distillery launches vodka

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Hughes Craft Distillery in Lisburn has won export business for Northern Ireland’s first potato vodka, RubyBlue Craft Irish Potato Vodka, which it launched at the start of this month.

The company, an established market leader in award-winning whole berry and Irish grain spirit liqueurs, has begun supplying the new craft vodka to Duty Free outlets at Dublin International Airport.

Other significant business for the new vodka has been placed by Ocado, the top UK online retailer, internet business Amazon and Master of Malt, another leading online retailer,” according to Stuart Hughes, commercial director of Hughes Craft Distillery, who formed the craft enterprise with wife Barbara in 2010.

Stuart Hughes said: “The listings are the outcome of extensive taste tests and are marvellous endorsements of the quality and, above all, the unique flavours of our range of small batch spirits.

“We have been seeking to strengthen our range and distribution in Britain, Ireland and further afield for some time and saw a gap in the market for a potato vodka. We also saw an opportunity from the developing trend particularly in high-end hotels, cocktail bars and restaurants for craft spirits with provenance and outstanding taste.”

The new vodka, the first in Ireland to be distilled from potatoes. is the result of market research and discussions with existing customers of the company’s successful super- premium liqueur products.

Barbara Hughes, sales director, added: “We are very excited to launch our RubyBlue Vodka.

“The initial response has been amazing.

“The first batch pre-sold within a few days of announcing it and now we are working to fulfil orders to some of the best-known on-line retailers, local bars, and restaurants and off licenses.”