To celebrate International Gin and Tonic Day, we've picked out ten amazing Scottish gins to enjoy on the day.

We’ve picked out just some of the amazing array of gins that are now being produced across Scotland to give you a little ginspiration for what to drink while celebrating International Gin and Tonic Day.

PORTER’S GIN

(Made in Aberdeen, recommended garnish: A slice of lime)

Scottish gins

Picture: Porters

The first gin to be distilled in Aberdeen city centre for 100 years, Porter’s Gin was the product of the passion of three friends for all things drink related. Founders Ben Iravani, Josh Rennie and bartender Alex Lawrence spent the past few years fine-tuning their recipe, undertaking hundreds of small-scale distillations in order to perfect their method.

Named after Professor Andrew Porter of Aberdeen University, who sourced cold-distillation equipment which allowed the team to extract “light refreshing flavours” from botanicals. The gin is a great example of a light style gin, made using traditional botanicals such as Juniper, orange and angelica sitting side-by-side with more unusual ingredients like buddha’s hand and pink peppercorn, to produce a wonderful citrus flavoured spirit that’s as easy to drink neat as it is with tonic.

ARBIKIE KIRSTY’S GIN

(Made in Arbroath, garnish: several blueberries and lemon twist)

Picture: Arbikie

‘Kirsty’s Gin’ is named after Arbikie’s Master Distiller Kirsty Black who has been developing the gin for over two years. The gin embodies elements of the ocean, rock and land, reflecting the estate’s environment – a 2000-acre farm, stretching out to Lunan Bay on the east coast of Scotland.

Kirsty’s Gin sticks to a traditional juniper base, with three traditional Scottish botanics, Kelp, Carline Thistle and Blaeberrys (all of which grow wild in the Angus area).

Unlike the majority of gin, which is made from a neutral base spirit, Kirsty’s Gin is distilled from Arbikie’s potato vodka giving the gin an extra smooth and distinctive taste. Also, Arbikie controls the whole process from farm to bottle and does not buy neutral spirit for its botanics to be added to.

Bonus: check out their newest release AK’s Gin 

ROCK ROSE GIN

(Made in Caithness, garnish: Either a sprig of rosemary or orange peel)

Picture: Rock Rose

Named after one of their rare botanicals the “Rhodiola rosea” which is very difficult to find but grows on the cliffs of Caithness, Rock Rose Gin is one of the fastest selling craft gin in the UK.

The Rock Rose is famed for its confirmed health benefits and was once sought after by the Vikings for its strength and vitality. It seems that this fame has not gone unnoticed, the first batch of the gin sold out in less than 48 hours – an industry record.

Britain’s most northerly mainland distillery, Rock Rose use an increasingly unique distilling process which infuses 18 botanicals, of which five are grown locally.

Perhaps most interestingly, they use both traditional Italian and Bulgarian junipers which are blended together to create a unique juniper taste for their gin.

They also make a range of seasonal gins that are well worth checking out.

NB GIN

(Made in East Lothian, garnish:  no garnish needed – or if you must, a wedge of lime)

Picture: NB Gin

Made using only eight botanicals, NB claims that it only needs those eight to create a classic gin. Judging by the response they’ve received since their creation – they won a silver medal at the Gin masters awards at the first time of asking – it certainly looks they are doing something right.

NB claim that no matter the demand for their product they will only ever produce in small batches to ensure their gin is as perfect as they can make it and remains hand-crafted. They recently hosted the Brit awards after party so it’s clear that it’s that not only gin lovers taking notice but also music royalty are too.

LOCH NESS GIN

(Made in Inverness, garnish: a slice of kiwi fruit)

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Loch Ness Gin are one of a few fortunate gin producers who are able to hand-pick their own crops of Juniper berries from their land.

Their company has got off to a great start, having won a Gold award in the Global Gin Masters following a blind tasting competition judged by spirit experts.

Husband and wife team Kevin and Lorien Cameron-Ross gather by hand their premium ‘black gold’ juniper before creating their gin to fill their unique bottles which feature a hot foiled copper front and back – apparently a world first – and that distinctive ‘Nessie’ logo.

ISLE OF HARRIS GIN

(Made in Isle of Harris, garnish: pink or red grapefruit)

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We were already excited about the announcement that there would soon be whisky from Harris, that we were entirely unprepared for the new distillery to produce this absolute cracker of a gin. Made using nine botanicals including locally-sourced sugar kelp, which gives the gin its wonderful coastal flavour, and produced using their small copper still – affectionately known as ‘The Dottach’ – this a distinctly interesting gin unlike many you will have tried before.

Not only that but it comes in one of the most fantastic spirit bottles we’ve seen. Designed by the team at Stranger & Stranger, the bottle reflects the rolling waves of the Harris coast and carries deliberate imperfections to reflect the rugged nature of the island itself.

So popular they once even had to ration their gin due to having such high demand.

EDEN MILL

(Made in St Andrews, garnish: Pink grapefruit or lime.)

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Eden Mill has perhaps one of the most individual stories of the gin companies mentioned here, beginning life as primarily a brewery, it has now progressed to encompass distillation of both gin and whisky. Not afraid to experiment, Eden Mill have produced some very interesting gins; most recently the Golf gin, which incorporated Hickory wood shavings and the Hop gin, created using Hops sourced from their beer production.

Eden Mill try to source most of their botanicals locally from places such as St Andrews gardens and they are keen to create seasonal small batch gins, using different botanicals. So watch this space.

PICKERING’S GIN

(Made in Edinburgh, garnish: Pink grapefruit)

The award winning Pickering's gin. Picture: PG

The award winning Pickering’s gin. Picture: PG

Edinburgh’s first gin distillery in 150 years has a lot to live up to, but with a great location – Summerhall distillery – it already looks well on its way to  making its mark.

Perhaps the best weapon in Pickering’s arsenal is their 60 year-old original Bombay recipe which has been tweaked and perfected for the modern palate.

Should you be interested you can visit the distillery in Edinburgh with guided tours and tastings also available on certain days. To find out more you can email the team at tours@pickeringsgin.com

CROSSBILL GIN

(Made in Aviemore, garnish: Orange zest and thin twist of peel)

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Producing their first small batch of just 200 bottles in 2013, Crossbill are now running at full production, and a good thing too, as demand for their highly acclaimed gin is now taking off. Named after the indigenous bird that can only be found in the ancient forests of Scotland, Crossbill gin is one of the only gin distilleries to use 100 per cent Scottish juniper and rosehip.

Indeed the distillers claim to have revived Scotland’s fragrant juniper production. Most of the reviewers describe Crossbill as a real ‘gin lover’s gin’, definitely one to check out now it’s becoming more available.

Ginerosity Gin

(Made in Edinburgh, garnish: slice of lime)

Picture: Ginerosity

Drink gin, feel good about yourself – and not just from enjoying the gin but also from the fact that when you do so you’ll be helping a bundle of charities into the bargain.

The “world’s first social enterprise gin” was launched by Pickering’s Gin founders Marcus Pickering and Matt Gammell, who have teamed up with social enterprise experts to create a gin that would see profits from the sales invested into projects that will help and support under-privileged or disadvantaged young people. On top of that it’s a great gin, with orange, myrtle, heather, cardamom and cloves all being used as botanicals to create a gin that’s big on flavour but highly accessible.

 

New updated gin map of Scotland launched for World Gin Day

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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