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Our Story - A Taste Of The Cotswolds. Check out our Video above.

The village of Ilmington is nestled in the North Cotswolds and in medieval times it was a village made up of farms and most of them had an orchard. One of the few benefits of a farm worker was a ready supply of free cider. The village was renowned not only for its cider but also for the wonderful varieties of old apples in its orchards. One of the treasures in the village church is an embroidered Apple Map on which the names of all the varieties are painted. The map is an exact copy of old maps which show where all the orchards were.

Today the farms and their outbuildings have been converted into houses and many of the gardens contain part of the old orchards. We started making cider in 2014 when we saw that most of the apples were not used and were left to rot. In fact, they were a nuisance to householders who had nice lawns as they got in the way of their mowing machines.

In the autumn many of the locals bring their apples to us in bags that we supply in exchange for bottles of cider or we go and collect the apples ourselves from the larger orchards. We crush the apples and press the juice using our hydropress, which produces 50 litres at a time. The juice is then left slowly to ferment and the cider is ready in the New Year.

The cider was first made in Frog Lane and a parallel street is called Grump Street, so it got the name of "Grumpy Frog".

Having made cider our next step is to distil it in 100 litre lots in our lovely copper alembic pot still.

 

"A soft mellow Brandy with a surprisingly fresh cider nose, warming and refreshing on the palate with a lingering aftertaste of apple"
- Fortnum & Mason -
Apple Brandy
"What a tipple … the most delicious Apple Brandy from Spirit of Ilmington. Made in the Costwolds. Perfect for cocktails and definitely too good to be left in the bottle!! Cheers"
- Pru Leith on Twitter -
Our Bottle Range

Buy in stores or online

Spirit of Ilmington products are available from distributors and can be found in quality restaurants, bars and retail outlets throughout the country.
You can also buy direct from us too!
Hamper View Of Range