CELEBRITY chef James Martin was impressed as he sampled a new Lake District tipple on his Saturday morning TV show.

On James Martin's Saturday Morning, the famed butter-lover was joined by guest Alysia Vasey, 'The Yorkshire Forager', as she prepared him an 'Old-Fashioned' cocktail made with the Lanty Slee Liquor Company's Wrynose Rum and Lake District Heather Honey.

The Yorkshire-born chef declared: "It's really good innit."

The Lanty Slee Liquor Company is crafting spirits inspired by the history of the famous Langdale-based 19th-century moonshine distiller and smuggler Lanty Slee, and where possible, use ingredients and methods that the man himself would have used.

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Based at the Wayside Pulpit in Elterwater, the company opened its new saloon-style bar, Lanty Slee's, on the premises on August 24, and co-owner Joe Nichols said their opening two weeks has been "a lot of fun".

"The spirits have gone down really well - we've got the vodka and the rum already, the whisky and gin are still on the way, and we've got high hopes they'll be contenders for some excellent awards," he said.

"We've had a lot of people from the local businesses popping down, which has been lovely, and we're really well supported by the tourist trade too - it seems to be that once people have found us, they're coming back every day.

"We'd really like to attract some of the wider locality to come and see us - we had our first couple from Kendal here on Sunday.

"I've been absolutely thrilled with watching people's reaction when they come into the building - there's been a lot of thought gone into how to get the decor to fit with Lanty's story.

"People have been blown away by it.

"We've even had visits from some of Lanty's surviving relatives.

The Westmorland Gazette: Edna, Lanty's great-granddaughterEdna, Lanty's great-granddaughter (Image: Darren Shield, Newsquest)

"They've been able to give some really good insight, as Edna, his granddaughter, and an absolute joy, was been able to provide me with loads of information. 

"I had a lovely message from Helen Slee, saying how grateful they were to us for giving them some pride in their family name again.

"It means a lot to have them behind it - there are an awful lot of them out there - Lanty had 11 children."

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