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Shanty Spirit brings you seaweed-infused rum and vodka

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Shanty Spirit
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A keen diver with a lifelong lover of the sea has brought a unique taste of the oceans into his rum and vodka creations which are infused and distilled blended with the flavours of seaweed.

Shanty Spirit is the brainchild of Hugh Lambert, who founded the company in Poole, Dorset, in 2017, with the distillery literally a stone's throw from the coast.

Hugh explained: “Growing up by the sea in Dorset, I have always felt the magnetic pull of the ocean, and scuba diving was something that fascinated me from an early age. I have had a lifelong love affair with the British coastline and set out to create a brand and range of unique spirits that connect us to this place that so many of us hold close to our hearts.

Shanty Spirit
Hugh Lambert with the Shanty Spirit vodka and rum

“I spent 25 years travelling the world as a TV cameraman. Sometimes I was lucky enough to work on productions where I could use my diving experience. I often worked on food and drink programmes, and it was when filming a pilot about foraging in Ireland that I discovered the wonderful umami flavours of seaweeds.”

He added: “I was around this time also introduced to the delicate art of craft distilling – and my two new interests collided.”

Hugh continued: “Prior to this I had no idea that gin was essentially a flavoured vodka as long as it contains juniper as one of the ingredients. With a huge choice of gins on the market, there didn’t seem to be many complex ‘botanical vodkas’ that would offer an alternative to gin and could be used in different ways.

“Using the amazing flavours found in seaweeds as the main element of the recipe, I went on to create a botanical vodka that contains five hand-foraged British seaweeds, including pepper dulse – the ‘Truffle of the Sea' – alongside Dorset wasabi, galangal, yuzu, bergamot, sea buckthorn and a pinch of Dorset sea salt.

Shanty Spirit

“Distilled cold under vacuum extracts fresher flavours and is also a more-sustainable process than a traditional hot still. It was created to add new delicious dimensions to Bloody Marys, Martinis and Mules, where historically a neutral vodka would be used.

“However, it has proved to be far more versatile and can be used in many coastally inspired drinks. Last year, it won gold awards with the IWSC and Taste of The West spirits competitions.”

Shanty Spirit recently launched a second product – a barrel-aged seaweed spiced rum. Lightly spiced with 14 botanicals and not too sweet, it contains four hand-foraged British seaweeds, raw Dorset honey, cacao and ginger, to name a few.

You will be able to try the seaweed-infused and distilled blended Shanty Spirit vodka and rum for yourself at the GO Diving Show, where it will be served at the Deco Bar. Hugh himself will also be there, offering samples – and you'll be able to order bottles for delivery after the show.

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Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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