Tiny Micro Distillery Poetic License Creates Outstanding Gin

The owner of tiny micro distillery Poetic License, Mark Hird, has forged a successful career in the leisure industry for over twenty years, having worked up from a trained chef to becoming the owner of twelve venues, one being his flagship The Roker Hotel in Sunderland. His passion for local produce and good booze led him to open a micro brewery called Sonet 43. With this up and running, Mark was inspired to visit several distilleries in South Africa after the the gin and cocktail resurgence was causing small scale craft distilleries to pop up all over the country. He approached Luke Smith who was an ambitious young man working at the Sonnet 43 brewery and asked him to help cost up and plan the opening of a new distillery. The duo swatted up by reading anything they could get their hands on regarding distillation and undertaking lots of experiments. Late in 2014 they embarked on an IBD distilling course to further improve their skills and the project officially started in early 2015 when Luke moved to the Roker Hotel as a full time gin distiller using Gracie, a 500 litre hybrid still, to create a range of drinks for us to enjoy. Being a hybrid still means that Luke can use her as either a pot still and a column still. Pot stills are used to make gin the traditional way whilst the column still allows ultra smooth vodka to be produced.

Poetic License Picnic Gin 37.5% 70cl

This is a beautifully sweet gin, creamy in texture and in taste, with a strong fruity nose as well as more typical gin notes of juniper, coriander and orris root. For added strawberries and creaminess, it was distilled as well as infused with the botanicals, which also give its deep red colour that tints to a blushing pink when mixed with tonic. Serving Suggestion: Enjoy over ice with premium elderflower tonic, garnished with a fresh strawberry or as a summer fruit cup with lemonade, mixed fruit and a sprig of mint.    

Northern Dry Gin Poetic License 43.2% 70cl

Expect a big punch of juniper that is finely balanced with green cardamom for a warm and spicy flavour. With undertones of lemon and eucalyptus, the inclusion of Persian lime intensifies the citrus feel while adding a note of perfume. The distillery are keeping the other botanicals used in this a secret! Serving Suggestion: Pour over large chunks of ice, with your favourite premium tonic garnished with pink grapefruit.    

Old Tom Gin Poetic License 41.6% 70cl

This classic originating from the mid-1800s delivers a sweeter and more peppery taste in comparison with the standard  Dry Gin. There are no sweeteners added or extra sugar used as the botanicals alone are enough to provide a sweet taste. The inclusion of rose petals infuses a distinct character to the sweetness as well as a slight rose gold tinge. Serving Suggestion: pour two measures over ice, serve with premium Ginger Ale, garnish with red apple and cinnamon.  

Graceful Vodka Poetic License 40.4% 70cl

When they say Graceful, they mean it’s a gloriously smooth spirit, to be sipped and savoured. Created entirely from British wheat giving a velvety smooth texture, they distil this vodka 7 times for purity while preserving its subtle taste. Serving Suggestion: best enjoyed chilled, neat or savoured with your favourite premium mixer over ice.