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“We set up no. 186 gin so people with diabetes could have a sugar free drinking option”

Ahead of the Gin to My Tonic Festival, we caught up with the makers of No. 186 Gin to talk about what makes their product unique

No. 186 Gin will be exhibiting at The Gin To My Tonic Show Manchester on 25th-26th November.

You can get your tickets by clicking here.

If you love learning more about craft distilling and love trying new craft gins and spirits, then it’s the perfect setting to do so with over 50 distillers under one roof, including local producers such as 186 Gin.

No. 186 gin has quite an unusual story.

They are a family business, run by husband and wife team, Matt and Lynsey out of their bar in Deansgate.

In a search for drinking options after her husband was diagnosed with diabetes, the pair came up with No. 186 gin.

After years spent tasting, comparing and studying how the best gins are made, they decided to create their very own – something premium and using locally sourced ingredients.

And after lots of testing and tweaking, their No. 186 premium gin was created.

Crafted from the highest quality local ingredients, sustainable practices and nothing else. And best of all, it contains no added sugar, meaning Matt (and everyone else) can enjoy the gin experience, without worrying about sugar levels.

And since their launch it has been a resounding success.

The spirit is named after and served in their bar in Manchester City Centre, founded with their friends/business partners, One Eight Six.

We caught up with Lynsey to talk about their Gin, and what makes it unique.

Lynsey said: “The initial love and passion for gin started because my husband is diabetic. He was told he had to switch from drinking wine and beers to clear spirits with lower sugar.

“It was a tough time for us as a family because our daughter had just been born and he was really ill. I get all emotional thinking about it!

“We went to all the festivals and got stuck into all the craft gins. We became quite experimental in what we were trying to search for the best gins around.

“This was in 2013, quite early on before the gin boom took off. There wasn’t that much about then in the U.K and a lot of the gins we bought were coming in from overseas.”

At the back end of 2018 Lynsey and her husband Matt purchased the site of bar One Eight Six on Deansgate.

And so began a long process of renovating the property and preparing it for opening; which they did at the end of November 2019.

As they worked through their plans to open up as a cocktail and gin bar, they decided to look into whether they could create their own sugar free gin with natural flavours to cater for people with diabetes.

Lynsey said:

“In February 2019 we began crafting out first two gins: Signature Gin and our flavoured gin with berries and honey.

“The Signature Gin is a total dry gin with no sugars, but is flavoured with grapefruit and citrus, with some herbal notes too like rosemary and thyme. It’s got a bit of a Mediterranean flair.

“The flavoured gin is a dry gin with no sugars, infused with dried raspberries and honey. It does have a natural sweetness to it and will slightly raise your blood sugars but not nearly as much as a gin with an artificial sweetener in it.”

Both have been launched to much critical acclaim.

Out of thousands of entries worldwide, No. 186 scored not one but two awards from the Gin Guide, a prestigious global guide to gin and gin distilleries that awards only the finest tipples across the globe.

No. 186 now distill all of their gin in a custom 200l still at their address in Deansgate.

However, you’ll have to wait until February to take a sneak peek at it as the site is currently under refurbishment.

“We’re a true out and out Manchester brand now.

“We distill our gin in Manchester, using locally sourced ingredients when we can.

“We currently have a few new gins in the pipeline, the main one being a passionfruit and vanilla gin which is our take on the pornstar martini.

“The passionfruit gin has that subtle taste that doesn’t overpower the gin so you can still get the juniper and a bit of spice. It’s really lovely.

You can find out more about 186 gin by visiting their website here.









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