Rachel Gaffney’s Letter From Texas - From The Curious Mind Of PJ Rigney

The famous foodie who’s flying the tricolour for us in Texas recalls an unexpectedly interesting visit to Co Leitrim last summer  

As I enjoyed a creamy latte, the couple next to me began chatting to me and they told me about their travels around Texas and Tennessee. They suggested I visit Drumshambo, home of Gunpowder Irish Gin from the neighbouring county of Leitrim. I had time and so I visited.

I was staying at Kilronan Castle in county Roscommon when I met the couple above. This is how I like to conduct my research when I visit Ireland as it is the truest and purest form. Taking time to sit and connect with locals is both enjoyable and informative. I knew the Gunpowder Irish Gin well. It was the blue bottle that drew me in at first when purchasing it here in Dallas.

I will be the first to admit, visiting distilleries is not top of my list of
things to do. I am just not terribly interested as there are so many other things I like to do. But I was a mere 15 minutes drive from The Shed Distillery in county Leitrim and my job is to seek out experiences for my clients. If I haven’t stayed or visited, then I will not recommend to them.

So, I pulled up to the Distillery, parked and walked inside, with no expectations. I did not pre book a tour which I recommend you do. I was in the area and decided to simply drop by. That being said, I was in luck and was able to secure a tour of the distillery.

The town of Drumshambo is located at the southern end of Lough Allen, the first of the larger lakes at the top of the River Shannon. A small town that many tourists miss, because they are in a hurry, or they simply do not know about it. Either way, Drumshambo is worthy of a visit. If you are fortunate to be around Lough Allen when the water level is low, you should be able to see crannogs, the ancient dwellings from pre Christian Ireland.

But back to a newer dwelling in Drumshambo, The Shed Distillery. Upon entering you are welcomed by glass ceilings, brightly coloured furniture, and aesthetically
beautiful colour schemes, you might be forgiven for thinking you entered an interior designer’s emporium. I have always been attracted to cobalt blue, (so much so my company colours are cobalt blue) and the blue hues in the decor around the Honey Badger Bar simply drew me in like a moth to a flame!

They have five pot stills, three for whiskey and two for gin. I had always wondered where the name, Gunpowder Irish Gin had come from. Gunpowder tea is one of the botanicals used in the gin. A clerk back in the 19th century noticed the pearl tea leaves from China, were rolled so tightly, they resembled grains of gunpowder.
And as for the Curious Mind of PJ Rigney, the founder of Drumshambo? Well, when you visit the Drumshambo website www.drumshanbogunpowderirishgin.com and click on ‘The
Botanical Trail’ tab, you will see for yourself.

A visit to The Shed Distillery will certainly awaken your senses, pique your curiosity and ignite the creative within you.

Email: rachel@RachelGaffneys.com


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