Despite making a fashionable comeback in recent years, it’s a little-known fact that 70 per cent of the UK’s gin is produced in Scotland. Here are six of the best to try ... you will not be disappointed.

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TROSSACHS DISTILLERY

Trossachs Distillery in Callander, Scotland, overlooked by the majestic Ben Ledi, is the home of McQueen Gin, handcrafted with Passion, Honesty and Integrity.  Dale and Vicky McQueen founded the company in 2015, and from the beginning, McQueen were all about flavour, differentiation and community. 

Their passion and pioneering attitude can be found in every bottle of McQueen Gin. Rebellious? Maverick? They call it McQueen.

McQueen are The Original Spirits Mavericks, ripping up the rule book and blazing their own path in the spirits industry.

They led the trend of flavour gin from their initial launch of 4 ‘world first' gins in 2016.  Today and into the future, they continue to lead and to innovate at pace.

McQueen Gin has been going from strength to strength over the course of the pandemic. Most notably, the launch of the McQueen Gin App with their 'World's Coolest Labels' campaign, which brings the bottle to life through Augmented Reality (AR) to create an exciting, immersive gin experience for customers.

By scanning the label via the dedicated McQueen Gin App, each bottle showcases the hidden inner secrets of McQueen Gin with a unique full-length animation, giving the drinker a bombardment of all the senses.

Take a virtual dive into McQueen's black cherry and vanilla gin pool, or learn about the spirit of Ben Ledi – the mountain which overlooks the distillery – behind its Highland Dry Gin or follow the antics of the maverick lemon cartoon character and experience a crazy colour explosion.

Another milestone for McQueen Gin has come in their most recently supermarket listings for the stunning new re-branded gins.

McQueen has continued to grow its impressive stockist's list over the course of 2020 and 2021. At the start of the year, Spar Scotland has listed three McQueen products – Black Cherry & Vanilla, Highland Dry and their Citron Gin.

Their Blackcurrant & Raspberry and their Citron Gin recently stocked in Sainsbury’s, Scotland. Their world-famous Colour Changing Gin is being stocked across all Scottish Coops and ASDA stores. Morrison's stores across the nation are now stocking the dark and mysterious Black Cherry & Vanilla Gin.

Not only have McQueen been making some serious business plays – their gins have been picking up several awards, 13 in the last month.

This includes a clean sweep of awards for all of their gins at the London Spirits Competition, with five of their gins gaining awards at the International Spirits Challenge and a prestigious gold medal for their Highland Dry Gin at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, with the spicy Five Chilli Gin picking up a bronze medal.

mcqueengin.co.uk

www.facebook.com/mcqueengin

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House of Elrick gin

Nestled in the rich, rural tapestry within the lowlands of Aberdeenshire, the House of Elrick is the source of a delicious range of premium quality spirits.

House of Elrick’s signature gin is crisp and fragrant. The botanicals, hand-picked by their Master of Gin are a complement of juniper, coriander seeds, angelica root and citrus peel, built around a core of heather, pink peppercorns, sweet fennel and rose petals. 

HeraldScotland:

Refreshing and aromatic, House of Elrick Gin is a spirit made with the essence of Scotland, using local ingredients and the crisp waters of Loch Ness. It is a fresh and vibrant infusion. The versatility of the gin means that it can be enjoyed on the rocks, or as the foundation of your favourite gin-based cocktail. 

Owner Stuart explains, “for the House of Elrick brand, quality over quantity is key. All of our spirits are distilled and bottled by hand in batches of 600 bottles per run, so we can maintain absolute control over every bottle that leaves the distillery.”

Members of the Elrick Estate note that a perfect serve for their signature gin would be served on the rocks or with a fine, quality tonic from a deep wine glass to retain the aromas.

When it comes to garnishing, they recommend you opt for aromatic orange zest. The orange will accent the fragrance and intensify the rose and peppercorns notes. 

HeraldScotland:

For many lockdown has presented many challenges. However, House of Elrick have taken this opportunity to develop and craft some delightful premium new flavoured spirits across their Rum and Gin ranges, particularly their Estate Plum & Peach Gin.

This Estate gin is based on their award-winning signature gin profile and has been gently blended with sweet juicy peaches and plums to create a delicious summer drink. This Gin will be available in all Scottish LIDL Stores from the 27th May 2021.

To find out where you can purchase these new ranges, visit the House of Elrick website today and sign up to their newsletter, to make sure you are kept up to date and follow House of Elrick on their journey. Won’t you join us for a drink?

houseofelrick.co.uk

www.facebook.com/houseofelrick

www.instagram.com/HouseofElrick

www.twitter.com/HouseofElrick

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The Isle of Barra Distillers Co

Standing out in the Atlantic on the far western edge of Scotland, you’ll find our home, our distillery. Distilled and bottled on the remote Scottish Island of Barra, our gin has a piece of our home in each bottle.

We are Scotland’s most westerly distillery. From our first batch of gin back in August 2017 to today, Isle of Barra Distillers continues to operate as a very small family-run company.

The story began with husband-and-wife Michael and Katie, now the team has grown to five, with Debbie handling all our customer related departments & Andrew & Iain making sure all our orders head off to make their journey to your door. Our team may be small, but we all work passionately to build and strengthen the Isle of Barra Distillers together. A company so close to our hearts and our Island home is the major drive behind the Isle of Barra Distillers continuous success.

HeraldScotland:

The adventurous spirit of Barra people inspires our unique gin. Our award-winning Barra Atlantic Gin is distilled from 17 handpicked botanicals foraged from the island shores, capturing the essence of our beautiful home. Born from the island, every drop is distilled, bottled and labelled right here on the Isle of Barra.

Island Born, Fearless Spirit

Barra Atlantic Gin showcases a perfect balance of floral and herbal on the nose, leading to juniper, citrus and dulcet carrageen rolling across the tongue like the mighty Atlantic surf breaking on Barra shores.

Refreshing and clean, with a long, gratifyingly warm spice finish that opens out like the vast vista surrounding our beautifully remote home.

Foraged from the shores of our remote Isle of Barra, our key botanical Carrageen seaweed provides a bold, maritime flavour, with a mentholic lean and a pinch of salty air.

Our Recommended Serve

  • Add a dash of ice to a low-ball glass.
  • Gently squeeze your pink or red grapefruit across the ice, just adding a few drops & no more.
  • Pour a large measure of our Island Spirit into your glass (50ml)
  • Add a splash of Walter Gregor’s premium Scottish tonic water & slip your wedge of grapefruit in.
  • Give a generous stir with a spoon, making the bold flavours & salty notes burst out.
  • Finally, sit back & enjoy our award-winning Barra Atlantic gin as the carrageen rolls across the tongue like the mighty Atlantic surf breaking on the shores that surround the Isle of Barra.

    HeraldScotland:

Our shipments leave only a small carbon footprint throughout its extensive journey from us to you. We utilise existing methods of public transport links to send our gin to the mainland and beyond.

www.facebook.com/BarraDistillers

twitter.com/BarraDistillers

www.instagram.com/isleofbarradistillers/?hl=en

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Arran Botanical Drinks

The journey for Arran Botanical Drinks began in 2018 as Isle of Arran Gin Co…an island shopkeeper and baker coking together to combine foraging and production skills to make a big-flavoured savoury London Dry….using island-foraged botanicals. 

Fairly late to the game, the group decided their gin needed to have a clear point of difference. It needed to be big; punchy…and very much taste of the island. 

Cramming almost twice the average weight of botanicals into the pot still as their peers, both aroma and taste is a powerful but delicate balance of the best of Arran’s sweet, savoury, floral and coastal flavours.

Fast forward three years and the group have evolved into Arran Botanical Drinks, with a diverse range of delicious liquids: Gin, Cassis and, (as a result of immersion in a lockdown project), a range of botanical craft beers!

HeraldScotland:

Photo: Ben Etridge

The Cassis is a firm favourite of their followers. One of only a handful of UK Cassis producers, Arran Botanical Drinks use only island Blackcurrants - working with a local grower and chef - to produce a deliciously sweet and sticky liqueur, which works beautifully in their Kir Royal and French Martinis - served-up to you at their rustic beach bar.  Only 2,000 bottles per year are produced and sold almost exclusively on the island.

"Visitors come to Arran for escape and adventure, and we look to embody that in each of our projects and channels. We have a team of fun, engaged professionals whose passion will bring our plants, processes and drinks to life. Tutored tastings, cocktail classes, guided foraging and local events. We are a hub for complimentary indie businesses - from florists to artists to food trucks and craft pop-ups. We create those experiences for our followers nd visitors, putting our skills and personalities into the mix. We are social animals, so it has to be fun. We harness the natural beauty of our island and the wild ingredients we forage to make our bottled drinks and cocktails.

HeraldScotland:

Photo: Ben Etridge

When you arrive at Cladach Beach House, home to the botanical drinks team, you receive the warmest welcome as you take in the views. We offer customers a relaxed but informative talk, and samples of our Gin, Cassis and Botanical Beers. We’ll take you around our funky beach shack space, with roaring fire in the colder months, and seats on the beach on sunny days, as we share our processes and and the wonderful botanicals that create those big Arran flavours. 

Ultimately, we are creating a relaxing vibe by the beach, surrounded by the sounds and aromas of nature."

For a tour, tasting and genuinely unique experience, contact the team: 

Social: @arranbotanicaldrinks

Web: www.arranbotanicaldrinks.com

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GLASGOW DISTILLERY

Makar Cherry Gin is handcrafted at The Glasgow Distillery. Makar Cherry Gin is flavoured by soaking ripe cherries and a handful of pink peppercorns in the distillery’s juniper-heavy Makar Original Dry Gin before pressing to release maximum flavour. This fruity drink is of superior quality and the perfect summer tipple.

100% natural flavour and no added colouring.

MAKAR CHERRY GIN SPRITZ

FIZZY, FRUITY & A HINT OF SPICE

HeraldScotland:

Perfect for springtime parties or those long summer days, the Makar Cherry Spritz is fantastically fruity with a long and slightly spicy finish.

HOW TO MAKE IT

Pour 37ml Makar Cherry Gin, 25ml Cranberry Juice and 10ml sugar syrup into a goblet glass over cubed ice.

Give contents a gentle stir

Top up with Prosecco and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

37ml Makar Cherry

25ml Cranberry Juice

10ml Sugar Syrup

Top with Prosecco

GLASS

Goblet Glass

ICE

Cubed

METHOD

Stir in Glass

Makar Oak Aged Gin is handcrafted at The Glasgow Distillery. A layer of complexity is added to the distillery’s already complex and bold juniper-heavy Makar Original Dry Gin by ageing the spirit for 10 weeks in bespoke oak wood casks.

The result is a delicious marriage of the distillery’s vibrant, juniper-led gin with smoky notes from new European Oak. Soft on the nose, complex and lively on the tongue, with a peppery finish.

100% natural flavour and no added colouring.

MAKAR OAK AND APPLE

SIMPLE, YET REFRESHING & TANGY

HeraldScotland:

A simple combination of the distillery cask-matured Oak Aged Gin and cloudy apple results in a wonderfully balanced yet complex highball serve. Perfect for sipping on any occasion, but especially in those summer months.

HOW TO MAKE IT

Fill a highball Glass with fresh cubed ice

Add Makar Oak Aged Gin and top with cloudy apple juice

Garnish with a wedge of fresh lime

INGREDIENTS

50ml Makar Oak Aged Gin

100ml Cloudy Apple Juice

1 Fresh Lime Wedge for Garnish

GLASS

Highball Glass

ICE

Cubed

METHOD

Build in Glass


www.glasgowdistillery.com

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PENTLAND HILLS GIN

Nestled at the western end of the Pentland Hills is the very small but very busy and successful Tarbraxus Distillery. Since it began selling Pentland Hills Gin in November 2018 it has moved from strength to strength.

At the heart of the business is an ethos of sustainability, Phil & Tabatha who own and run the distillery have sought to create a environment that allows the gin to be created, bottled and distributed in a way that has a minimum impact on the land around the distillery and the environment.

HeraldScotland:

Through the use of water that rises on the land, solar panels to power the distillery, growing a number of the botanicals used within the gin, regenerating juniper growth on the farm and offering an innovative refill service they have been recognised this year as one of the winners of the prestigious Gin Guide Environment and Sustainability Award Winners.

It doesn’t stop there, last year the Distillery launched its Navy Strength Gin – Electra). Named in honour of Head Distiller Phil’s Grandfather (who served aboard the destroyer HMS Electra until he and the ship were lost in 1942) the gin has recently been awarded a Silver Medal at the London Spirits Competition and a Bronze Medal at the World Gin Awards. Pretty good going for a distillery that produces around 500 litres of gin a year!

HeraldScotland:

They say great things often come in small packages – well Pentland Hills Gin is certainly that. It’s not sold in supermarkets; you will find it online and at Farmer’s Markets around the Pentland Hills.

Oh, mention also needs to be made of Panza, he’s the CEO (well Chief Dog In Charge really) and can be found on the beautifully etched bottles and company literature, it’s a dog’s life but someone has to do it………!

www.pentlandhillsgin.com