Home |  Search |  Contact Us |  Website & Cookies Policy

Liberal Arts at St Mary's

In 2017 as a final year student working towards a BA (Hons) Liberal Arts degree with a concentration in History, Gary was on placement with Hughes Craft Distillery Ltd, maker of RubyBlue Spirits. While there, he worked under the guidance of Rachael Dalzell, who is the Sales and Marketing Manager at the distillery. photograph

Hughes Craft Distillery was set up in 2010 by Barbara and Stuart Hughes, a husband and wife team from Lisburn. Initially, the RubyBlue Spirits product line was just a selection of real fruit liquors and for several years that was the only product that they made and sold. Whereas the market had many specialist Gins available research indicated a gap in the vodka market leading to Barbara and Stuart creating RubyBlue Vodka. Barbara and Stuart also conducted their own market research and came up with a suggested cocktail, RubyBlueThyme, which is RubyBlue vodka with lemonade garnished with green apple and thyme. This signature cocktail has become a popular choice in many luxury hotels and restaurants.

The majority of vodka on the market is distilled from wheat or barley: RubyBlue is a unique product, advertised as "Ireland's First Potato Distilled Vodka, exceptionally Smooth and Pure with subtle notes of vanilla and crisp apple. Buttery and well-rounded with just a little earthiness" (www.rubyblue.com). Compared to other high-quality premium spirits on the market, RubyBlue has done exceptionally well. It won the Vodka Masters Award in New York City in 2013, beating world-recognized premium vodkas Grey Goose and Belvedere. What makes this victory even more impressive is that the awards were conducted using a blind taste test, empirical evidence for the high quality of the RubyBlue product.


1. Placement Experience

2. Personal Knowledge & Experience Gained – the student’s view

3. After Graduating from St Mary’s - WHERE ARE THEY NOW?