EDINBURGH Gin is to quadruple production after opening a new facility that brings gin distilling back to Leith for the first time since 1974.

The craft distiller has transformed part of the former United Biscuit’s factory into its second distillery, in response to growing demand.

The Edinburgh Gin Distillery began production at the “Biscuit Factory” yesterday, where it will produce its core range of gin – Original, Cannonball and recent addition, Seaside Gin.

"Leith is steeped in history as an iconic gin port and was the centre of a home grown spirits industry,” said Alex Nicol, who founded Edinburgh Gin in 2010 as part of his Spencerfield Spirits business.

From the late 1700s Leith had a thriving gin industry, which was renowned for innovation and influencing the development of the London dry gin style. Gin distilling came to end in Leith with the closure of the Melrose Drover distillery more than 30 years ago.

“It made perfect sense to carry on that tradition and ensure the legacy lives on,” said Mr Nicol.

Production at the new site is led by head distiller, David Wilkinson as part of the long-standing partnership with the hugely influential Heriot-Watt University’s MSc in brewing & distilling course.

Edinburgh Gin, which employs 22 people, currently distils in a basement beneath The Rutland Hotel at Shandwick Place, with capacity of just 20,000 cases per year. The new facility, will enable the company to produce 80,000 cases as it expands both its export and domestic business. Mr Nicol also revealed there was space to add another still, which would double capacity again, to 160,000 cases per annum.

“Gin is growing internationally,” he said. “We’ve got exciting plans for our core range and our raspberry and elderflower gins. You’ve got to have a product that offers something different, that you can take to consumers and trade partners.”

The company has recently signed distribution deals in Europe, Scandinavia and North America for its core range. A European sales manager was recently appointed and Mr Nicol revealed that a North American sales manager would soon be in place.