SCOTLAND'S love of gin continues to evolve in new and interesting ways.

The juniper berry based spirit is being developed across the country with many craft distilleries popping up offering a new twist on the refreshing and versatile drink. Gin makes the ideal summer drink no matter the setting.

Below we have listed some of the finest concoctions of Scottish gins currently on the market…

Verdant Dry Gin

As winners of the Scottish Gin of the Year Award, their full flavour, no fuss approach, has gained Verdant Dry Gin widespread acclaim. Smooth and sophisticated, it has gained wide appeal thanks to its classic taste and style. Distilled in small batches from the highest quality ingredients in a 500 litre pot still named “Little Eddie” after the old jute mill where it is made, Verdant Gin is the first and only gin distilled in Dundee. '

HeraldScotland:

Juniper-led, the spirit displays fresh notes of citrus from Spain, coriander from India balanced with warm, earthy undertones of spice. This carefully curated blend of botanicals was inspired by Dundee’s rich trading history and reflects the routes once sailed by traders to and from the city.

At just over a year old, the spirit is already packing a punch in the world of Scottish gins, beating off some stiff competition. Seeking to produce a modern yet classic gin, they have successfully created a rounded spirit with that can be enjoyed on its own, with tonic or in a cocktail.

HeraldScotland:

They recommend Verdant Gin be served neat (on the rocks or not) or as a G&T with your favourite tonic. Bottled at 43% ABV, it also has plenty of character to hold its own when used in the skilled mixologist’s hands, adding depth and vitality to new and traditional cocktail creations.

To find out more about Verdant Gin and where you can buy a bottle, visit www.verdantspirits.co.uk

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avva Scottish Gin

Moray Distillery Ltd have created a truly unique gin that embraces its homegrown roots and is one of the first distilleries to use a Scottish still. The still was made locally in Elgin by highly skilled craftsmen who carefully shaped copper sheets into a traditional 250l copper still making the micro-distillery one of the smallest in the region.

HeraldScotland:

Gin enthusiasts will be given a rare insight into this Elgin based distillery as they open their doors with an upcoming special two day event. On Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 July, you will have the chance to join a small group for an intimate tour of the facility. During the open days you can taste their popular range of Avva Scottish Gins, along with their sister brand; Berry Good Liqueurs.

Avva Scottish Gin was launched in 2016, with strong links to surrounding Elgin. The ethos behind the company is history, provenance and family, made evident through the personal details all intrinsically linked to the name, the design, the still, botanical selection, the Speyside region and the distillers’ family.

HeraldScotland:

Jill Brown, the founder and owner of Moray Distillery, said: “The distillery is not normally open to the public, so we’re excited to host another open day. It’s a great activity for people to experience around the area, and something a little different, especially for anyone looking to have a day out and explore Elgin.

“It was important for us to create a product with links to our history and culture. Our still is called Jessie Jean- named after both my grandmothers, and Avva actually means respected grandmother. The ‘rose window’ design on each bottle was created to represent what it was thought the Elgin Cathedral window looked like.

“The feedback we’ve had since the launch has been immense… I’m really proud of our gin.”

To buy tickets to the open day and to sample Avva Scottish Gin for yourself head to: www.moraydistilleryltd.co.uk/ourshop/cat_1482330-Open-Day-Tickets.html

www.moraydistilleryltd.co.uk

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Boe Gin 

The Boe Gin family, featuring Boe Scottish Gin, Boe Violet Gin, Boe Peach & Hibiscus, and Boe Scottish Bramble Gin Liqueurs, are lovingly produced in small batches at the distillery in the village of Throsk, five miles to the east of Stirling.

Boe Violet gin, has at its heart the award winning Boe Scottish Gin, and the addition of violets creates a stylish gin with a light, delicate taste and beautiful colour and aroma.

Enjoy with tonic and a slice of pink grapefruit, in a cocktail or with the mixer and accompaniment of your choice.

boegin.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Illicit Gin

Launched in 2018 by Darran Edmond, a distiller and graduate of the Heriot Watt MSc. program in Brewing and Distilling, Illicit Spirits’ urban craft distillery can be found hidden in a renovated railway arch in the Tradeston area of Glasgow. As trains pass overhead on their way south from Glasgow Central station, Darran is busy distilling Illicit Gin using traditional methods. Botanicals infuse in a  copper pot still over a naked flame, the process is truly small batch and each bottle is hand-filled and labelled on site.

HeraldScotland:

With their first product launching in April this year Illicit Gin aims to take gin back to its roots, the way gin should be – with juniper firmly at the forefront. Other botanicals including liquorice, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg – which contribute a sweet, earthy flavour – along with perfumed notes from the likes of cardamom and orange and lemon peels provide citrus freshness.

The short, squat nature of the still used at Illicit Spirits helps produce spirits which are full-bodied, flavourful in character, and rich in texture. A spirit of this kind deserves to be enjoyed simply, neat over ice, or served with a premium tonic, slice of orange peel and a bruised cardamom pod.

HeraldScotland:

The future of Illicit Gin lies in Darran’s intentions to produce innovative contemporary spirits that remain true to the traditional methods that have inspired the process so far. Alongside the forthcoming core range, expect to see many seasonal and limited-edition releases, reflecting the distillery’s spirit of experimentation.

 Illicit Gin is currently stocked in a small selection of independent bars and off-licences throughout Glasgow and beyond, and will be moving into UK-wide distribution later in the year.

en-gb.facebook.com/illicitspiritsco

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Isle of Skye Distillers

Isle of Skye Distillers’ story began in 2016, when brothers Alistair and Thomas Wilson combined their experience in the hospitality and construction industries and completed their vision: to build the first gin distillery on the Isle of Skye.

HeraldScotland:

At Isle of Skye Distillers, provenance is everything. The distillery is proud to use locally foraged juniper berries and clear spring water from the Storr Lochs to create their small-batch spirits: Misty Isle Gin, and Tommy’s Gin, both infused with a true taste of Skye. Every part of the production process is carried out at the distillery in Portree, right down to hand-numbering and signing each bottle.

Alongside these locally grown juniper berries, Misty Isle Gin is distilled with a precise balance of botanicals, including coriander, grains of paradise, orris root, liquorice root, black cubebs, angelica root, lemon peel, lemon verbena, cassia bark, and another secret ingredient, which can only be found at high altitude on the Isle of Skye. Still crafted according to the original recipe first developed by Thomas and Alistair during the distillery’s creation, Misty Isle Gin is juniper-heavy with earthy undertones, a hint of spice, and best enjoyed with a Scottish tonic water and a twist of orange peel.

Distilled alongside Misty Isle Gin is Tommy’s Gin, which was created in memory of Alistair and Thomas’ late father, Tommy Wilson, who served in the Suez invasion. ‘Tommy’ is also a generic name and term of endearment for a soldier. For every bottle of Tommy’s Gin sold, a donation is made to local military charities.

HeraldScotland:

Crafted with botanicals including poppy seed, coriander, liquorice root, blaeberry and sweet orange, Tommy’s Gin is best served with fresh Scottish blaeberries and garnished with a twist of lemon peel.

Pick up a bottle of Misty Isle Gin (RRP £34) or Tommy’s Gin (RRP £39.95) from Isle of Skye Distillers’ shop in Portree, from an independent spirits retailer, or order a bottle online. 

For more information, a full list of stockists and to browse the distillery’s online shop, please visit www.isleofskyedistillers.com.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

McQueen Gin

Dale and Vicky McQueen, a husband and wife with a passion for gin and adventure, decided to embark on the McQueen Gin journey in 2015 after leaving their careers as a mechanical engineer and master baker and chef respectively. In the work they do (and have done!), Dale and Vicky have always focused on creating the purest, best possible standard of end product. The precision of an engineer and the taste of perfection from a master baker and chef made the perfect blend for the development of this award winning gin brand.

HeraldScotland:

McQueen Gin is a true craft spirit gin brand, which shares Dale and Vicky’s taste of adventure. They are fulfilling their dream by creating a product made using the purest and most authentic of methods and sharing it with the increasing population of gin lovers. The McQueen gins are infused with natural notes of hand-selected botanicals during distillation, with no flavour elements added after it leaves their much-loved still named ‘Little Maggie’. This trademark distillation method means that each unique flavour is pure and perfectly balanced, allowing the adventurous gin drinker an experience that is absolutely unrivalled.

HeraldScotland:

Based at their much-loved distillery in Callander, Scotland they introduced true craft spirits with flavour profiles such as smokey chilli, mocha, mint chocolate and sweet citrus, with something for every occasion and flavour profiles that true craft gin drinkers can’t wait to try. The strong belief in their philosophy of bringing customers a taste of adventure and discovery, married with their unique distillation method, is what makes the product so unique. Craft gin drinkers increasingly want provenance and true hand-crafted products, something McQueen ensures. When developing the product, the team spent 6 months working on over 100 iterations to develop the initial product range which was a world first at the time.

At McQueen Gin, they continue to explore new innovative methods to ensure that their pure and exciting products deliver on all levels. This includes the imminent introduction of a stylish new glass version of their award-winning ceramic bottle and the build of a new and improved distillery on their land in Callander, which has recently got underway. McQueen Gin: The purest flavours, distilled not added.

www.mcqueengin.co.uk

www.facebook.com/mcqueengin

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Orkney Distilling

Orkney Distilling’s growing range of hand crafted gins fuses the traditional with the progressive, drawing inspiration from the Viking heritage of the islands, while delivering a contemporary spectrum of botanical flavours.

It’s an approach that’s unmistakably Orcadian, merging tradition with innovation and the quest for excellence.

Each of our spirits is characterised by our use of locally grown botanicals, including a variety of Norse Angelica brought to the islands by seafarers centuries ago. We grow these botanicals in partnership with the Orkney Agronomy Institute in Kirkwall, ensuring consistent quality throughout the harvest.

If you’ve not already experienced our gins, please allow us to share the highlights.

Firstly, we have our acclaimed Norse inspired signature gin, Kirkjuvagr, evoking the freshness of the Orkney seas and the purity of our island environment.

For the bold, we offer a 57% ABV, Storm Strength Arkh-Angell gin, which adds new depths to the renowned flavour profile of its elder spirit.

And, finally, we have our newest release, Harpa, a light and fruity gin that takes Kirkjuvagr’s character in a new direction for the long days of summer.

It’s a range that offers something for all occasions and every season.

This summer sees Orkney Distilling move to a permanent new home on the shores of Kirkwall Bay, representing the latest chapter in our saga.

We’ve approached the creation of our new distillery and visitor centre with the same attention to detail that we apply to our gin production.

The result is a high-quality facility that both tells our story and, we hope, enhances the Orkney experience for the many thousands of visitors who travel to our islands each year.

As our guest you can join us for a guided tour to discover the secrets behind our handcrafted gins, before relaxing and sampling our range in the tasting room overlooking beautiful Kirkwall Bay. Or, you can simply enjoy a cocktail or coffee in our distillery gin bar. Naturally, you’ll also find our full range of gins and our lovely Orkney Distilling merchandise on sale in our gift shop.

We look forward to welcoming you.

www.orkneydistilling.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Persie Distillery

For anyone interested in Scotland’s gin trail, Persie Distillery in Glenshee is a must-see. One of the few craft distilleries to be awarded brown sign status, it has been publicly recognised as a star-rated destination on the Scottish tourist map.

The stables-turned-distillery – which was voted Most Promising New Business at the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Star Awards – is where Persie gin is hand-crafted in small batches. There are three richly aromatic expressions: Zesty Citrus; Herby; and Sweet & Nutty Old Tom.

HeraldScotland:

The three expressions were developed by the man behind Scotland’s first touring gin enterprise. Founded in 2013, Gin Club Scotland was launched with the sole purpose of hearing the voice of the customer and using these insights to make a home-grown Scottish gin that hit the spot. It worked like a charm: in under a year, Simon Fairclough had visited every Scottish region and heard from over 2,000 gin-lovers about what appealed to their taste buds, pocket and sense of style. He harvested this feedback and found out two things. Firstly, for cracking gin, you need more than a nice taste: you need aroma. With over 75% of flavour down to smell, the perfect interplay of aroma and taste is the single biggest influence among Scots for liking each gin. And, secondly, three profiles proved most popular at tastings by a wide margin – fruity, savoury and sweet.

HeraldScotland:

The result is that Persie Gin taps right into that – with a family of three distinct styles of aromatic gin. Each gin is made with carefully chosen botanicals to evoke an emotive and comforting scent: Zesty Citrus is sharply fruity, chock-full of limes and oranges; Herby & Aromatic is dry and savoury, with fragrant rosemary and basil; and Sweet & Nutty is full-bodied and creamy, with fresh vanilla pods, almonds and a hint of root ginger.

All three gins scooped awards in the first year of trading. Zesty Citrus was voted Best Gin in Scotland Under £35 by Scottish Field magazine; Herby & Aromatic was awarded a Silver Outstanding for Gin & Tonic by the International Wine & Spirits Competition; and Sweet & Nutty Old Tom was awarded a Silver Medal in the Speciality Gin category at the Scottish Gin Awards.

The distillery is open to the public for drop-ins, tours and tastings.

www.persiedistillery.com

snifter@persiedistillery.com

@persiegin

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Porter's Gin

Founders Ben, Josh and Alex turned the basement of their award winning Aberdeen cocktail bar, Orchid, into a micro-distillery. They focus on modern gin recipes that pay respect to tradition. 

HeraldScotland:

Possibly the UK's most innovative new distillery, the team use a "cold distillation" process that distills their botanicals at low temperatures to retain their natural fresh flavour. Examples of the cold distilled botanicals include the extremely rare buddha's hand citron, and pink peppercorn. These are combined with classically distilled botanicals to create a gin that brings together the best of classic and contemporary distilling.

HeraldScotland:

The result is a modern classic gin with a punchy juniper and a unique citrus flavour profile. The fresh, light and clean flavour from the cold-distilled botanicals make this a perfect gin for long refreshing summer drinks.

Available in Sainsbury's Stores throughout Scotland and www.thewhiskyexchange.com

Find out more by visiting www.instagram.com/portersgin

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Barra Gin

The Isle of Barra distillers was established as recently as 2016 but it’s been a dream of wife and husband team Katie and Michael Morrison for much longer than that.

The expansive ocean surrounding the beautiful Isle of Barra has inspired the island-born couple’s adventure into the world of distilling.

HeraldScotland:

With many goals set for the future of the Isle of Barra Distillers, it is the deep sense of duty that drives the team on. With a firm belief of giving something back to the community and at the same time building something that will one day outlive anyone that walks through the doors.

Michael feels that “above everything else that we can achieve from this journey, it is the thought of both giving something back to this beautiful island and also putting the Isle of Barra on the ‘gin map’ that drives us forward. We feel we owe it to the island and its people - we have the opportunity to do something great and something great is what we are going to do”.

HeraldScotland:

The key botanical in Barra gin is sourced naturally from the crystal clear, pure shallows that surround the remotre isle of Barra.

Every piece of edible carrageen seaweed is meticulously selected and handpicked by us on Barra's beautiful beaches to provide the distinctive flavour of our unique gin.

The carrageen, also known by its scientific name Chondrus Crispus, is a species of red algae native to the cool Atlantic waters skirting Europe’s rocky coastlines, including our beautiful Isle of Barra. Like many of the other seaweed varieties found on the Scottish coast, carrageen is harvested after the spring tides, when the water is furthest from the shore.

It’s this passion and belief that must surely make the story of the Isle of Barra Distillers one to remember.

www.isleofbarradistillers.com 

www.facebook.com/barradistillers

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Teasmith Gin

The Teasmith Gin creators Nick and Emma Smalley have created something truly special - the first Scottish Gin distilled with hand-picked tea.  Why? Because Scotland has many historical links with the tea trade with several stemming from Aberdeenshire which is where the Founders are based.  

HeraldScotland:

When they discovered the story of James Taylor – a young man from the area - who grew the very first commercial tea plantation in British Ceylon, they worked with tea consultant Beverly Wainwright to source a special loose leaf tea from the Amba Estate in Sri Lanka.  It is both hand-picked and hand-rolled – much in the same way Taylor produced his first batches 150 years ago on the island.  

When distilled, the tea provides fabulous citrus notes of blood orange along with a minty sweetness.  These flavours are paired with more classic gin botanicals such as juniper, coriander seed, dried orange peel, angelica and orris root and a sprinkle of rose petals to create a smooth and fresh juniper-led gin with a citrusy lingering sweetness 

Finalists in three categories at the 2017 Scottish Gin Awards and racking up 5 awards for brand design already, this gin doesn’t disappoint. A truly smooth gin packaged in a beautifully simple bottle with lots of hidden hand-finishes – it ticks all the boxes.

HeraldScotland:

Serve this gin with copious ice, a premium quality tonic and sprig of fresh mint for a truly crisp and refreshing G&T.  Or as a cocktail suggestion, The Teasmith Southside is a really simple drink that you can make at home.

The Teasmith Gin is available through The Teasmith Gin’s website for £38.95 or through the Master of Malt.  Available in store at Valhalla’s Goat (Glasgow) and The Gin Company (Edinburgh) and many other stockists listed on their website.

Twitter: @the_teasmith

Instagram:@the_teasmith

Facebook: /teasmithgin

www.teasmithgin.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------