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A real tonic for Scotland

You are never very far from a whisky distillery in Scotland, but it is around 150 years since there has been a Scottish distillery producing gin.

Pickering's Gin, based in Edinburgh, has changed that with a new operation that will distill, bottle and sell small batches of the spirit.

The product is based on a recipe from the 1940s which has been updated to include flavourings of juniper, coriander, cardamom and fennel, and co-founder Matthew Gammell says he is confident his gin will bring something new to the market.

It is certainly a good time to launch the product with gin undergoing a renaissance in Scotland. Larger firms such as William Grant & Sons, the producer of Hendrick's gin (arguably the brand that started the gin revival) have been getting involved, but a number of smaller producers have also emerged in recent years including Darnley's View and Bruichladdich's The Botanist. Last year, Pincer vodka also produced a gin made from rosehip grown in Scotland.

Gin is never likely to replace whisky as the national drink, but there is a healthy emerging market for producers to exploit - and some very decent gins for drinkers to enjoy.

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