Driffield News

High Sheriff of East Riding launches her own gin

As her year as the High Sheriff of the East Riding of Yorkshire enters its second month, Jacky Bowes is inviting people from Driffield and the Wolds to raise a glass after launching her own gin.

Jacky, who lives in Little Driffield, was sworn in during a ceremony attended by dignitaries from across the region at Highfield House in April.

The role of High Sheriff has existed for over 1,000 years, but it’s fair to say that Jacky is probably the first to create a new alcoholic drink from scratch.

I’m really happy with the flavour and love it, although it is really strong, so lots of tonic is recommended

jacky bowes

Based on a gin she first tried in France, Shrieval Spirit was distilled by Jacky with the help of gin specialists in Walkington.

Shrieval Spirit is now on sale exclusively in Driffield greengrocers Rafters, with £5 from each sale of the £40 bottles going to The Tribune Trust, the High Sheriff’s charity that creates grants to help groups and communities reduced crime and make their areas safer.

With a background in food production, Jacky told the Wolds Weekly she enjoyed the process of creating her apple-based gin and has equally relished the opportunity to taste it.

“Gin is my favourite tipple and I love a particular gin that I bought in France,” said Jacky.

“However, I’ve found it really difficult to get hold of in England, so I thought creating my own would be quite a nice thing to do.

“I worked with a ginnery in Walkington, told them what I wanted and we worked together to achieve it.

“It’s an apple-based gin, which is quite unusual, and I believe this is a good way of getting the message out to younger people about the role of the High Sheriff and what we do.

“I picked the name Shrieval Spirit as it has the shrievalty relating to a sheriff and the spirit of the gin, but also the spirit of wanting to raise money for The Tribune Trust.

“It’s a unique partnership between the High Sheriffs of the East Riding and Lincolnshire, Humberside Police and Humberside Fire & Rescue Service to raise money and give grants to keep young people engaged and away from lives of crime.

“I was involved in the process from the start, helping with all the tastings, and it was fascinating.

“My background is in food production, so developing a gin was quite interesting for me.

“I’m really happy with the flavour and love it, although it is really strong, so lots of tonic is recommended!”

After the gin was distilled and transferred to bottles, Jacky needed to find a stockist that was willing to put in on the shelves.

Always keen to support the community, Andy Rafter was more than happy to sell Shrieval Spirit in his greengrocers alongside several other locally-made gins.

Jacky was delighted to accept Andy’s generous offer.

“Andy has been great in supporting me and I love supporting local businesses,” she said.

“Andy asked if there was anything he could do to help me during my year as High Sheriff, which was brilliant and shows what a great guy he is, especially in terms of helping the local community.

“It’s fantastic that he’s agreed to stock the gin exclusively and support my charity in the process.

“I really hope that people will come in and buy it. It’s something a little bit different.

“Perhaps it’s slightly more expensive, as it’s a small batch craft gin, but £5 from every bottle will go to The Tribune Trust.”

Andy added: “We were happy to help Jacky as part of her year as High Sheriff.

“She has been a longstanding customer of ours from day one, along with her husband Andrew.

“We’re delighted to stock the gin, especially with the exclusivity we’ve got too. It’s an honour to be the sole stockist of it and it didn’t take much time for me to make my mind up.

“It’s a great product too. I bought one for home and my wife Tracy tried it and said how much she liked it.

“It’s win-win. Jacky’s charity is benefitting from the sales, so it was a no-brainer really.

“We sell local gin already, so this will sit nicely alongside it.

“We’ve also donated some raffle prizes and will try to support Jacky in any way we can.

“We get asked to help a lot, but we always try to do a little bit for as many people as we can.”

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