After more than a century of not manufacturing the spirit, England is seeking to challenge Scotland and Ireland as Britain’s finest producer of whisky.

The practice of making whisky ended in England in 1905, but that changed in 2003, when a Cornish distillery started work on a malt whisky that it released in 2011.

Since then, 20 such distilleries have surfaced across England and Wales.

The spirit has to sit for at least three years in a barrel before it can legally be called whisky -- or whiskey with an “e” if it’s made in Ireland -- and be sold to the public.

“There’s no secret to making whisky,” Dan Szor, the founder of the Cotswolds Distillery, told CTV’s Daniele Hamamdijian. “It’s not heather rising in the mist and the sound of bagpipes and kilts and all that. It’s good ingredients, good kit, hard work and more hard work.”

It’s also more money.

One of the reasons that distilleries across England and Wales are able to devote time and resources to whisky production is that they are reaping the rewards of a “ginaissance” – the rising popularity of gin – and reinvesting those profits in the making of whisky.

“With whisky, there’s a lot more commitment and the people who are blazing the trail for English whiskey all have their own reasons,” Szor said. “One is, of course, love of whisky, and the other is why shouldn’t it be made in England?”

With a report from CTV’s Daniele Hamamdjian in the Cotswolds, England