Cooper King Distillery, which claims to be England’s smallest whisky and gin distillery, is set to launch its first batches of gin before Christmas this year.

The distillery, which was founded in 2014 by former scientist Dr Abbie Neilson and chartered architect Chris Jaume, is based in Sutton-on-forest in North Yorkshire.

The pair decided to give up their established careers to set up the independent craft whisky distillery, having been inspired by Tasmania’s eight operational whisky distilleries and the hand-crafted premium whisky industry, which they discovered when visiting Australia.

Jaume said: “Cooper King’s innovative approach to distilling gin is a first for Yorkshire. We are combining innovative cold vacuum distillation with traditional hot copper pot-distillation, in a process that’s tailored to suit each individual botanical. The process ensures we extract the freshest, fullest flavour from each botanical, creating a vibrant and flavoursome gin unlike any other. Earlier in the year the company won an EU grant in recognition of this unique approach to distilling.

“The gin, which is produced in micro-batches using 5 and 10 litre stills, will be juniper-led as all gin should be, and beautifully balanced with botanicals, some of which are foraged from the distillery’s own site. There is an abundance to choose from, including fresh lemongrass, green gooseberry, apple blossom and warming chamomile, not to mention its own honey.

“All Cooper King gin will be distilled, bottled, labeled and individually numbered by hand at the distillery, with the first batches exclusively for Founders Club members.”

The company is also developing a Yorkshire gin map, which will be available ahead of Gin and Tonic day on the 19th October. The map plots the lcoation of 15 distillers in the area.