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Stratford's Shakespeare Distillery launches new rum school and gin tasting centre

Artisan spirit producers Shakespeare Distillery has expanded its town centre retail business to include gin tasting experiences and a rum school.

The historic premises at 1 High Street has undergone a significant renovation of first and second floors to create two new event spaces for tutored spirit tasting and creation.

The venture has been named ‘Judith’s’ in a tribute to William Shakespeare’s daughter who lived there in the 17th century when married to local wine merchant Thomas Quiney.

It was officially opened by Stratford Mayor Gill Cleeve on Thursday, 29th September to coincide with the Stratford Food Festival.

Peter Monks, Stratford Mayor Gill Cleeve and Simon Picken at the opening on Thursday, 29th September. Photo Gullachsen. (59770036)
Peter Monks, Stratford Mayor Gill Cleeve and Simon Picken at the opening on Thursday, 29th September. Photo Gullachsen. (59770036)

The expansion has been created in response to the success of distillery tours and a gin school at its Drayton Manor Drive headquarters located just outside Stratford and will create six new jobs.

To coincide with the launch, Shakespeare Distillery has unveiled a new limited-edition pink gin to celebrate the opening. The business, which takes inspiration for its product range from Tudor times has made Judith’s Premium Pink Gin combining pink peppercorns and hibiscus with citrus and sweetness of raspberries and blackberries.

In Tudor times pink stood for ‘the pinnacle of perfection’ and after distillation the gin is steeped in fresh raspberries to create a natural pink colour.

Judith's pink gin. (59770034)
Judith's pink gin. (59770034)

Peter Monks, director at Shakespeare Distillery said “Stratford-upon-Avon is once again a busy and vibrant town after the pandemic and so now presents the perfect opportunity for us to expand our business.

“Having a tasting room in town will make it easier for our customers to try our products and it also gives residents the opportunity to visit with their friends and family. We look forward to starting an exciting new chapter, not only for the distillery but for this historic building!”

Shakespeare Distillery has been successfully distilling gin for the last six years and began distilling its own brand of British rum in 2021. It is one of a small handful of UK distilleries to create its rum onsite and one of a small number of rum schools.

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