Award-winning jelly and jam maker Made with Love xo, which is based in Northern Ireland, has developed a new product featuring the highly acclaimed Shortcross Gin.
Based at Donaghadee in county Down, Made with Love xo has blended bramble and elderflower with the gin, produced by Rademon Estate Distillery at Crossgar, also in county Down, to create a distinctively flavoured jelly for a range of cookery applications.
Margaret Cooper, who established Made with Love xo in 2012, says: “There’s such a tremendous interest in gins at the moment that it made sense to me to create a jelly using the spirit. And there’s no better gin around at present than Northern Ireland’s own Shortcross from Rademon Estate, the distillery that has led the way in producing small batch gins with consistently outstanding quality.
“I decided to blend it with locally foraged ingredients bramble and elderflower, both of which are plentiful at this time of year.”
Made with Love Xo has won a series of national awards for the quality of its jams and jellies including Irish National Food Awards, the latter for its unique Christmas in a Jar. Mrs Cooper had a successful background in sales before deciding to turn her passion for food into a small business producing jams, jellies, chutneys and tablet fudge.
All the company’s products are hand crafted, the fruit and other ingredients cut by hand and blended to recipes that Margaret Cooper has created.
The products have caught the attention of buyers at Hastings Hotels Group, Northern Ireland’s leading hotel chain as well as major restaurants and hamper producers.
She has developed a unique product range that now stretches to 22 including chilli jam, which is proving very popular with shoppers, along with a plum and vanilla jam.
Shortcross Gin was also formed in 2012 and was then Northern Ireland’s first locally distilled gin in more than a century. The business was established by husband and wife team David and Fiona Boyd Armstrong. The small batch gin is based on fresh apples, elderberries and wild clover distilled with other botanicals including juniper, coriander, orange peel, lemon peel and cassia.
The company has also won major awards for quality and outstanding taste at international events. Customers include Fortnum and Mason.
A range of the jellies are available at small grocers and gift shops in Northern Ireland and also online via Indie Fude.