An adventurous all-female gin team, Georgina, Claire and Alicia are all neighbours, living at the north end of the Isle of Jura, which is a 2-ferry journey from mainland Scotland.
As plant-lovers, they were trying to find opportunities for work on the island, but, with only 200 people on the island, suitable jobs weren’t forthcoming, so in the end, they decided to create their own.
So in 2015, they started with a 10 litre still that they called ‘Jim’ and set about exploring the island and the surrounding waters for botanicals to use in their new gin. The trio even ventures out in a small boat to gather the sea lettuce for the recipe. As they say on their website, they’re not just gin-lovers, they’re adventurers!
It’s this dedication to sourcing and hand-foraging botanicals that are local to Jura that makes Lussa really special. The team either grow and gather the ingredients themselves, or they have a few neighbours on the island growing for them.
The gin is then distilled and bottled on Jura and since launch, has received an excellent reception -gathering a string of awards, including a bronze medal at the prestigious International Wine and Spirits Competition and is now on sale all over Scotland and beyond.
Lussa Gin has a citrus nose from the lemon thyme and lemon balm. It has an aromatic flavour with notes of watermint, bog myrtle and Scots pine which are balanced with a savoury kick from the ground elder and sea lettuce. Honeysuckle adds sweetness and rose petals and rosehip give the gin a smoothness and length of finish.
The team at Lussa say Walter Gregor’s tonic is their preferred tonic, as it’s not too sweet and it lets the gin cut through. Plus it’s Scottish, made by a woman and she uses complementary botanicals like mint and elderflower. They also like a wedge of frozen lemon and a sprig of mint or a rose petal depending on what’s in season.
When we were researching the botanicals in Lussa, we were under the impression it would be a citrusy gin. Full stop. And while it has a wonderfully fresh and zesty nose, there is so much more to this gin than that. Unmistakably juniper-forward, you get very smooth floral notes, subtle warmth and an array of savoury flavours in the taste. We think it’s utterly delicious and a real taste of the wilderness of Jura.