this is actually a jura musing. islay is home to several famous whisky distilleries and it was really good fun to visit and sample their delights. we found that it was the hospitality and welcome that made as much of an impression on us as the whisky we tasted. but surprisingly the distillery that made the biggest impression on me was none of those. it was lussa gin distillery on jura. it's a small home grown enterprise set up by three women on jura. the population of jura is less than 200 people (and 6000 deer) although the island is by no means small. so if you live there i imagine it's a beautiful and challenging environment. and when it comes to enterprise what do you do? there's obviously jura whisky distillery, tourism, and local trade but not an easy question to answer. one of the phrases we have come back to with pioneers at cms is asking the question 'what have you got in your hands?' - in other words what is there right where you are in your context. maybe that's a good place to start imagining what is possible.
well the answer that the three founders of lussa worked out was that they had local plants or botanicals, and amazing water. so they came up with the idea of distilling gin. they experimented and had a community gathering where locals sampled three versions. the one that was voted favourite is what is now lussa gin. it's made with 15 botanicals - you can see about them in the field notes on the web site. they are a small producer - bottling and labelling everything there. but what a wonderful story of local enterprise. i got the impression (and wished i'd asked more about it) that there is a really connection to the local community in and through the distillery.
i am not really a big gin person but i liked it and it seems to be well regarded and reviewed. it is beautifully presented and they have won an award for the design work.
what have you got in your hands?