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20 Jun 2022

Meet the makers: Gordon and Vanessa of Badachro Distillery

A man and a woman sit outside on garden chairs. Behind them are fields, a loch, and mountains beyond. The man has white hair and is wearing a pink shirt with a red waistcoat. The woman has a grey jumper on over a long-sleeved stripy top, and she's holding a bottle of the gin they distil.
Gordon and Vanessa of Badachro Distillery
The Trust is proud to support talented makers and craftspeople from across Scotland, by selling their products in our physical and online shops. This time, we meet Gordon and Vanessa of Badachro Distillery.

Where are you based?

In the stunningly beautiful hamlet of Badachro, near Gairloch, Wester Ross in the Scottish Highlands.

When and how did your business start?

Vanessa & I started the distillery business over 5 years ago. The intention was to make a room diffuser or a scent from local botanicals, but that morphed in to making spirit drinks and our initial experiments resulted in Badachro Gin, with which we launched the business. Originally, we only intended to make around 400-500 bottle per year and sell it to our B&B guests and the local pub.

What products do you make/design/create?

For the National Trust for Scotland we created, distil and bottle Inverewe Garden Gin. Our own brands include Badachro Gin, Coastal Gin, 57* Storm Strength Gin, Raspberry Gin, Orange Gin, Dancing Puffin Vodka and Bad na h-Achlaise single malt whisky. We also make unique gins for the Bermudan Duty Free and an upmarket hotel group.

What makes your business unique?

The hand-picked local botanicals we use to create unique flavours, our authenticity and passion, and a small team which truly works as a family.

Are there any interesting materials that you use?

We hand-pick local ingredients, including gorse blossom, myrtle, lavender, rosehip, wild thyme, fennel, elderflower and a couple of local seaweeds. The water here in Badachro is incredibly soft too, which is great!

Are there any eco credentials you can mention? For example the use of recycled materials?

We use recycled paper stock for our labels and glass bottles which are recyclable. Our spent botanicals are composted, and our HQ is heated by an air source pump. Lighting in the (tiny) dunnage warehouse is solar powered too.

Gordon in the distillery

What’s your favourite thing about your business/running your business?

I think running a small team of passionate enthusiasts is very rewarding. And the reputation we are developing for producing super high-quality spirits makes us all very proud. We’ve managed to create quite a few full- and part-time permanent jobs in an economically fragile area, which feels good.

Of course, I must also admit, testing products is no hardship either!

What’s the proudest moment of your business career?

Being asked to create a unique gin for the Trust using botanicals found in Inverewe Garden, and it being universally enjoyed! A close second must be winning the pitch for the creation of a number of gins for Love Bermuda. It’s not too bad a place to have to go on business, after all!

What is your favourite Trust place?

Inverewe Garden, for its peace and beauty, and Culloden, where there’s so much history and emotion.

How did you/your business start working with the Trust?

We started off pitching our Badachro Gin to the Trust, to sell at Inverewe Garden (as we’re based nearby) and then it went from there. Our own gin is still sold there too, and also at Culloden.

What’s your favourite product that you supply to the Trust and what was the inspiration behind creating it?

Well, Inverewe Garden Gin of course. The rich inspiration that came from the story of the founder, Osgood Mackenzie, from the plants within the garden and from the environment within which it is set, provided us with a wealth of opportunity to meet the brief and produce a delicious, relevant and unique gin.

What do you love about Scotland? #fortheloveofscotland

So much! The warm, creative nature of the people, the stunning beauty of the geography, the rich cultural heritage that has made us who we are... plus gin and whisky!

Inverewe Garden Gin 70cl – shop now

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A bottle of pink gin stands on a polished wooden table, with a small bottle of gin to one side and a large gin glass filled with gin & tonic to the other. >