Lilliard Gin: What's the story?

Lilliard Gin - By Richard Aspinall, Aspinall Ink

Named after the heroine of the 1545 Scottish Borders’ Battle of Ancrum Moor which was fought between the Scots and the English, Lilliard Gin is created from botanicals foraged in the Scottish Borders.

It is said that, despite having both her legs cut off in the battle, Lilliard fought to the death to avenge the murder of her lover at the hands of the English.

A monument erected in the 19th century on the site of the battle, also known as Lilliard's Edge (and previously as 'Lillesietburn' in the 12th century, and 'Lillyat Cros' in the 14th century), records the following traditional verse:

"Fair maiden Lilliard lies under this stane little was her stature but muckle was her fame upon the English loons she laid monie thumps and when her legs were cuttit off she fought upon her stumps."

The monument replaced an earlier stone with the same inscription, which is recorded as being in pieces in 1743.

Less feisty than its namesake, Lilliard Gin is a light gin with a floral palette. So delicate is its flavour, Lilliard is a gin which can be enjoyed on ice, with or without a mixer. (Great with an added sliver of orange rind!)

The gin is handcrafted in a copper still at a small distillery, based at Born in the Borders (a visitor attraction which is also home the the award-winning Born in the Borders brewery). Sitting not far from Jedburgh, in the Teviot valley, the distillery uses fresh, local spring water in their distilling process.

In 2017, a new Lilliard was born... or rather, ‘hatched’. Born in the Borders regular visitors, osprey parents, Samson and Delilah, had three healthy chicks this year; two males and a female. It seemed fitting that the strong, independent female be given the name ‘Lilliard’.

You can buy Lilliard Gin from the Born in the Borders shop, but the best way to enjoy the gin is by the fire at The Red Lion.

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The Red Lion in Earlston is a former coaching inn, dating back to the early 1800s. 


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