ONE year after setting out on his own to become an artisanal gin distiller an Ulverston businessman has reflected on what has been a roller coaster 12 months.

Last year Andrew Arnold-Bennett, of Sunderland Terrace, set up a gin still in his back garden. The company which grew out of that gamble, appropriately named Shed 1 Gin, will tomorrow (26) celebrate its one year anniversary at a special party inside the Coronation Hall.

Mr Arnold-Bennett said: "It's fantastic really. To have and idea and for it to bear fruition - it's great.

"There are people here who have done similar things before. I kept bending their ear and that's been very helpful."

The process of distilling his own gin has admittedly been a process of trial and error for Mr Arnold-Bennett. Fortunately when the time came to bottling his products he had gotten a handle on the finer points of gin making.

He said: "We did a lot of trial and error at the very early stages. Hopefully by the time we got to production all our questions had been answered.

Last year three gins were unveiled to signal the launch of Shed 1 Gin. Since then launch the brand has gone from strength to strength appearing on the shelves of local pubs, and regularly at food festivals county-wide.

Strangely Mr Arnold-Bennett said the hardest part of the business was not making the gin but in fact the administration. Sorting out bottle suppliers and label makers is a far more stressful task than combining botanicals.

If the lows were getting to grips with distilling one of the constant highs for Mr Arnold-Bennett was the success of his product. He said: "We knew our friends and family liked it but when someone comes along and tries it and says it's great - it's brilliant. We couldn't ask for anything else."

When Mr Arnold-Bennett decided to make his own gin he traded in his life as an actor. Being able to spend more time at home with his wife Zoe was a key part in his decision. The maintenance of that work-life balance is still key and has a big impact on any further expansion of the business.

"We can grow a little bit and stay as we are," Mr Arnold-Bennett said. "We've got a bit of space here and if things continue as they are we'd be looking for a bigger shed. We're from a shed and we'd like to keep that aesthetic."

Tomorrow evening there will be an invitational party held for all of the people who have helped Shed 1 Gin through the year. Mr Arnold-Bennet said: "We're having some nibbles, trying some gin and saying thank you."

Three quick and easy gin cocktails you can enjoy tonight

There is no end to the delicious drinks that can be made with nothing more than a few ingredients, garnishes and a trusty bottle of gin.

In honour of Shed 1 Gin's first anniversary we would suggest you make all of the drinks we provide for you are made with a bottle of Mr Andrew Arnold-Bennett's finest.

Here are some quick, easy and delicious gin cocktails you can whip up tonight.

The Bramble

A fruity drink this delicious cocktail could not be simpler to make, requiring just four ingredients.

You'll need: 40ml of Shed 1 Gin; 20ml of sugar syrup; 20ml lemon juice and 10ml of crème de mure.

To make take a large measure of dry gin and shake together with the lemon and sugar syrup, pour over crushed ice and drizzle the crème de mure. Garnish with a lemon zest or some fresh seasonal berries.


An Italian classic this concoction is the definition of a stiff drink. For those who want a softer sip this drink can be easily toned down by adjusting the measurements.

You'll need: 25ml of Shed 1 Gin; 25ml of vermouth; 25ml of Campari and one orange.

To make pour the gin, sweet vermouth and Campari into your favourite rocks glass over ice. Stir it down to your preferred taste. Then, zest the orange over the glass and add the citrus to the mixture.


For drinkers fond of a mojito but want to enjoy an evening of gin - this is the drin kfor them.

Another simple cocktail that can be made up in minutes.

You'll need: 50ml of Shed 1 Gin; 20ml of lime juice; 15ml of sugar syrup and six to eight mint leaves.

To make: drop the gin, fresh lime juice, sugar syrup and the mint leaves into your shaker then get your arms moving.

Fine strain it into a posh Martini glass that’s been chilled. Don't use any ice otherwise it will lose its flavour. Garnish with one mint leaf.