Lilliard Distillery
Born in the Borders,
Lanton Mill

History – With many of Scotland’s new gin creators there seems to be a common theme. After years of doing a mundane job working for “the man” they decide to pack it all in and follow their dream. This was definitely the case for Kate MacInnes who after nearly two decades working in financial services decided to pack it all in and give the Borders region of Scotland a gin to be proud of. With a Mother who was a botanist and her Father being a forester she felt she had the right upbringing to utilise the area for wild ingredients and local flavours to create a gin. After 6 months trailing different botanical recipes Kate and her team launch Lilliard Gin in 2017. The micro-distillery is located in a converted cow shed just next door to the Born in the Borders Brewery near the picturesque River Teviot. Pride of place in this tiny distillery is Donald, their much loved pot still which they claim is the “hardest working still in the industry”. Everything they do here is inspired by its location and you can feel the handwork and passion that has went into creating Lilliard.

The Spirit – Through Donald they bring together local botanicals such as Rowan, rosehip, meadowsweet and elderflower before combining with juniper to create a soft and beautifully floral gin that they believe “embodies the four fragrant seasons of our Border valleys”. Sometimes these micro-distillery gins can be a hit or a miss but Lilliard is most definitely the later. They suggest a garnish of an orange zest with their G&T, the essential oils from the zest add aroma and work really well with the flavours of their gin.

Why Visit? – The distillery is part of the 'Born in the Borders' complex that also houses a brewery, restaurant & shop, and is open for visitors. It is a tiny distillery with a small team so appointments during the week are by appointment only but they are open 11am-3pm Saturday and Sunday, with lots to do around the area as well. If you are really into your gin then you can book into one of their classes where you can be taken through picking your own botanicals and creating your own bottle to take away with you.

Interesting fact – Lilliard Gin is named after Lilliard – the heroine of the Battle of Ancrum Moor, fought between the Scots and English in 1545, just north of the River Teviot that flanks the building of the old farm, a short journey from the distillery. She fought to the death to avenge the murder of her lover at the hands of the English, and the landscape that inspired their gin bears her name, so it was only fitting that the gin should too.