A Northamptonshire drinks firm is celebrating the title of Best New Local Drink of the Year just 16 months after launching its debut product.
Ben Jelley, owner of Jelley Distilleries, scooped the top award at the inaugural Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2016 - the second title the Brixworth-made drink has claimed since launching in June 2015.
Michelin-starred chef Michele Roux Snr was on hand to present Mr Jelley with a hand-made jug and framed certificate to mark the success of the company’s debut product – Elderflower Vodka.
The 28-year-old, of Rushton Road, Desborough, said: “Winning the award is another building block for Jelley Distilleries.
“To achieve county recognition from Carlsberg has put us on the map.
“We make spirits the British way, with style, class and character.
“Our vodka is a celebration of our great country – a home-made product based on heritage and patriotism.”
Mr Jelley, who already has the Hot Craft Spirits Awards 2016 title of Best Independent Spirit under his belt, is now working to expand his range with the launch of pomegranate vodka earmarked for Spring 2017.
He launched his business using his knowledge of the drinks industry having grown up witnessing his father, Tim, successfully exporting vodka to Russia in the 1990s.
It was after receiving a Christmas bonus that he ditched dreams of buying a new car for 1080 empty glass bottles. He then decided to fill the bottles with vodka after experimenting fermenting alcohol at home.
The award-winning vodka is distilled using coriander, liquorice, cardamom, orris root and lemon and infused elderflowers handpicked in rural Northamptonshire.