We need a lot of lemon thyme. As well as growing it in our own polytunnels and gardens, the ever-generous Jura community have lent us space in their veg beds and greenhouses across the island. Lemon thyme has a glorious citrus kick with a fresh, herby twang; it defines the character of Lussa Gin.

Coriander grows really well in our polytunnels – and it's a vital ingredient in our gin. It adds to the citrus notes and gives a little spicy warmth.

Fragrant petals add a floral character, and along with rosehips, rose petals give Lussa gin a smoothness, marrying together the many individual flavours.

With its sherbert smell and zingy taste, lemon balm was an easy choice for our gin. We harvest it in summer and impatiently await its emergence the following spring.

Our bees adore lime flowers, but they can spare a few for our gin. We find the flowers’ subtle sweet notes a perfect balance to the more robust botanicals of Lussa Gin.

There are elder trees hiding here and there around our island. Their flowers are perfect for making cordial and champagne, and add a hint of summer to Lussa Gin.

When the honeysuckle blooms emerge it feels like summer has hit its peak. Its sweet scent mingles with the other smells of the woods when it weaves its magic in Lussa Gin.

Many people find squelching through bogs one of the least pleasant things about walking on Jura. We beg to differ. Bog myrtle keeps the Scottish midge at bay AND smells sublime.

We can harvest the bulbous orris roots after 2 years. Then 3 – 5 years of drying begins to reveal the oxidised compound that holds all the flavours and acts as a molecular glue.

Juniper has grown in Scotland since the last ice age; but is currently under threat from disease. We’ve started a long-term project to propagate cuttings of Jura juniper and we have planted 500 Argyll-grown juniper around the Lussa Glen. If we're lucky, we may harvest in 2022.

Water mint - rarely do you see it first: your nose is the best forager once your footsteps have crushed some. We like the freshness it brings to Lussa Gin.

The sea is part of island life. We wanted a hint of sea spray in Lussa Gin. We found that a small amount of the vibrant green sea lettuce was just right, and we love hunting it out.

The flavour of Scots pine builds on juniper's distinctive pine notes. The one difficulty is harvesting the needles, as the branches are often so high up!

Ground elder: this weed (and ancient vegetable) plagues many a garden, but if you've ever inhaled its fragrance when pulling it up in spring you’ll understand how well it works in gin.

Wild rose pops up in the least expected places and provides an abundance of hips that contribute a smooth tone to Lussa Gin.

"A Community Spirit"

Lussa Gin came about at the start of summer 2015 after a chance conversation.

We’ve all been brought together in a way that harnessed our interests and our skills but most importantly, by our love and awe of Jura. We've been helped along the way by lots of special people but particularly those closest to us in our community of 250 people.

Georgina Kitching

I’m the chief distiller of Lussa Gin. I’ve been distilling since 2015 and was instrumental in developing the recipe and sourcing the botanicals from Jura’s wild and cultivated plants. With a scientific background and a love of gin I’ve honed my skills to produce the finest Lussa in every batch.

When I’m not distilling, you’ll find me swimming in Lussa Bay, tending my hives of black bees, chickens and vegetable garden, or walking slowly in the wilderness of Jura, sometimes with a tent in my backpack, getting distracted by nature.

Georgina likes her Lussa Gin with soda water, ice and a fragrant rose petal, preferably a red one.

Sofie Fletcher

My new boyfriend, now husband brought me to Jura 24 years ago. We spent a night in a cave on the west coast, sleeping on a bed of goat droppings. It was love at first sight.

I now live off grid at the very North of the island with Rob and our two children. Living surrounded by nature, waking to the sound of the sea, appreciating the changing seasons and the wildlife all around me brings an incredible sense of freedom and peace.

Logistically it’s no picnic. Island life can be isolating and the winters are long, but Jura has a real community and sense of place. There’s nowhere I’d rather raise my feral children.

Sofie’s partial to a Lussa Gin ‘n’ Juice, but sshhh, don’t tell anyone!

Claire Fletcher

I landed on Jura in 1991 with a band called the KLF (who later burnt a million pounds on the island but that’s another story). The boy who drove me up the road became my husband and I fell in love with Jura’s raw, wild landscape.

Many years later we have a family, a farm and a special way of life. Here I get to be my own boss. I get to be physical. I get to be up close and personal with the natural world. I get to be part of a thriving community. I get to be different.

It’s not all roses, but life is short and I can’t imagine living anywhere else now.

Claire likes her Lussa Gin with a sprig of lemon balm, a neutral tonic and frozen lemon.

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