A Derbyshire gin manufacturer has brought a new kind of order to the House of Commons after its locally brewed tipple went on sale to thirsty MPs.
The Darley Abbey Distillery’s Uncommon Thread is now being served in Strangers’ Bar, in Parliament, where it is being enjoyed by MPs, Government ministers and their guests.
The juniper-led gin was created by Nichol and Andy Malia-Barlow, owners of the Darley Abbey Wine Bar and the Cottonworks restaurant, with friend Clare Lamert who has worked in the spirits and Champagne industry for several years.
It was recommended to Parliament by Derby North MP Amanda Solloway, who has championed the distillery since it launched last year, and she invited Nichol and Andy to Westminster so they could see their creation behind the bar.
Nichol said: “We have got to know Amanda during her work to sort out the Darley Abbey bridge situation and she has been very supportive. She initially invited us down to Parliament for Derbyshire Day last year, which is when we gave a bottle to staff in Stranger’s Bar.
“We know it’s going down well as they have already placed another order and it was brilliant to revisit Parliament and see some familiar faces enjoying a glass.
“It’s a Dry London gin but with a hint of orange so it’s absolutely perfect for this kind of weather.”
The friends turned to making gin while delivering wines from the Darley Abbey Wine Bar to customers during the coronavirus lockdown.
Since then, they have received support from master distiller Kris Dickinson, who has worked at the well-known brand Greenalls for several years and was also behind the Opihr gin.
Now served in the hallowed halls of Westminster, Uncommon Thread has come a long way from its first retailer, which was the village shop in Darley Abbey.
Amanda said: “Since this gin is distilled in an 18th century world heritage site it seems only appropriate that it should be served in our historic Palace of Westminster.
“I work hard to champion the businesses in my constituency, and I was delighted to help Nichol and Andy bring their Uncommon Thread to the Houses of Parliament, where I know it has been going down well with MPs and their guests.
“It is wonderful to see little pieces of Derbyshire in the corridors of power and I am very proud of our local producers. It just goes to show what can be created with creative thinking, hard work and a belief in their product.”