There is something so rewarding about a fresh and zingy gin and tonic to start off the weekend, so for this week's instalment of Meet the Maker, we have turned the spotlight on just a few of the Irish producers who we feel are stars in the industry. 

The revamp of the gin scene in Ireland over the past few years has been colossal in its influence on what we drink and how we drink gin. Irish craft gin producers are distilling some of the finest gins in the world, using local ingredients for botanicals and showcasing the natural flavours of our island. 

Here's a selection of Irish gin producers in Ireland that we feel you need to know about. 

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, Leitrim

This is a great example of an excellently-crafted Irish gin and has become hugely popular in the market – the blue bottle is super distinctive and was a winner from the offset. 

Owner Pat Rigney launched his gin into the market in 2015; Gunpowder Gin taking its name from Gunpowder tea in China, which is a botanical in it. The gin uses lots of botanicals from around the world and also features the native Irish Meadowsweets. This Irish gin is a favourite in F&W paired with elderflower tonic and lots of ice.

Find out more on their website.

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Bertha’s Revenge Irish Milk Gin, Cork

This gin is named after the world’s oldest cow, Big Bertha, who lived to an incredible age of 48 years and had 39 calves.

This truly unique Irish gin is owned by Justin Green and Antony Jackson from Ballyvolane House in Cork. Bertha’s Revenge is called a milk gin as it is a made from milk whey, a by-product from producing cheese, which they source from dairy farmers only a few miles away. The distillate is cut with water from the Ballyolane spring too, so this product is a genuine real deal 'local product' and it's great that is is produced consciously with food waste and sustainability in mind.  

Find out their stocklist on their website.

Boatyard Double Gin, Fermanagh

The Boatyard Distillery is a farm-to-bottle distillery in the north west of Ireland who pride themselves on using only the finest organic ingredients – one of their gin botanicals, Sweet Gale, is foraged from their local family bog!

Owner Joe McGirr started the first distillery in Fermanagh over 130 years. His family have deep roots in Irish agriculture with the past two generations of Joe's family working on farms. They use a Dutch double distilling method to produce their signature Boatyard Double Gin, which gives it an even more pronounced juniper flavour. Plus they also produce Boatyard Old Tom Gin, which has notes of candied lemon peel, vanilla and cinnamon spice, with a silky orange finish. Definitely a game-changer and one for the connoisseurs to try out! 

Boatyard Gin isn’t only a beautiful gin, but it is also produced in somewhere equally as beautiful, in the breath-taking area of Lough Erne. You can even visit the distillery and have a guided tour with plenty of laughs and more importantly plenty of gin.

More information on their website.

Ornabrak, Cork

The name Ornabrak is derived from the Irish Eorna Braiche, meaning malted barley. Tipperary-born owner Patrick Shelley has said of his gin that it is meticulously crafted following 36 distillation trials over 12 months and with input from some of the world’s best bartenders.

There are very few producers using malt in their gins, but Patrick believes that the malted barley brings a richness to the gin that other gins may not have. This single malt gin contains five botanicals and gets distilled fives times giving purity to their final product. The barley is sourced from the South East and it is malted in Cork before being milled, mashed, fermented and copper-pot distilled in Skibbereen, West Cork. Ornabrak supports local Irish farmers and is a perfect example of a great Irish gin. 

More information can be found on their website.

Dublin City Gin, Dublin

This handcrafted gin is like a London dry gin, with specially selected botanicals. First started in 2016 by Jim O'Connor and Sheila Cooney, they only produce 600 bottles per batch. You may not think of Dublin city as a place to forage natural products, but Dublin City Gin uses some in it's range of botanicals, along with organically-grown rhubarb from the banks of the Grand Canal.

This premium gin is an elegant drink with notes of rhubarb and spice. Using an Irish Milk spirit to make the gin, which provides the silky finish people love.

More details can be found on their website.

Chinnery Dublin Dry Gin, Dublin 

The bottle design itself gives an indication of the skill and care gone into this gin. Plus we love the artwork as an homage to artist George Chinnery, whose portraits of the European, American and Chinese traders, and his sketches of ordinary life, are hugely important in documenting the 19th century.

Osmanthus flower, Oolong tea and Cassia Bark are just a few of the botanicals used in this beautifully fragrant gin. Founders David Havelin and Marie Byrne launched Chinner Dublin Dry Gin in 2018 after selling their Dublin Whiskey Company. David and Marie travelled across the world to tea markets in Canton and Guangzhou, China in order to find their perfect flavour combination. The taste of Chinnery Gin is described as floral with notes of honeysuckle and summer fruits. 

More information and stock lists can be found on their website.

Beara Ocean Gin, Cork

Produced on the Beara Peninsula, this gin is a true taste of Ireland's shores, infused with Irish Atlantic saltwater and sugar kelp sourced from the Ventry Harbour in Kerry, which gives the distinct scent and flavour to their Ocean Gins.

Owners and siblings John Power and Eileen Brennan travelled around Ireland and abroad to learn the masterful skill of gin-making before setting up their own business in their birthplace of Beara. Beara Ocean Gin is a reflection of a family's love for all things Irish and the love for the Irish sea. And, we think it is delicious! A truly distinctive gin that is definitely worth having in your collection.

More information can be found on their website.

Is there a gin that you love that you feel we should include on our list? Please let us know in the comments below. We will be updating our list throughout the year.