Leith-based craft drinks producer launches 'naturally blue' coloured gin

A drinks producer based in Edinburgh has teamed up with the scientists at Scottish Bioenergy to launch a unique new 'naturally' blue gin.

Published 2nd Aug 2017
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

FIRKIN Blue is the culmination of a recent collaboration between the team at FIRKIN Gin and Scottish Bioenergy, a biotech business that produces a scarce natural blue food colourant, phycocyanin.

The colouring, which has received international approval due to its "all-natural healthy nature", is also referred to as ‘spirulina extract’, and is thought to be an alternative to common artificial blue food colourants, which have received negative press in recent years.

The team at FIRKIN explained that interest in phycocyanin is increasing due to "food producers such as Mondelez and Mars focusing on natural colour replacements" such as phycocyanin, which is extracted from spirulina - widely recognized as a natural superfood.

Blue Gin

Picture: FIRKIN Gin

D.C. Van Alstyne of Scottish Bioenergy siad: “We are delighted to be working with Firkin Gin.

"Our blue pigment is in high demand worldwide and very scarce. We chose to align our pigment supply with a product that we truly enjoyed and a company that has vision and creativity to make Firkin Blue a success."

The Biotech business, which worked closely with the micro-biology departments at Newcastle University and the University of Edinburgh to develop a novel way of producing the blue colourant, is aiming to meet demand for a healthy, natural alternative to artificial colourants.

The gin brand say FIRKIN Blue contains all the characteristics of a traditional classic dry gin, with the addition of the colourant in small measures, giving it an ice cool blue colour.

Derek Mair of FIRKIN Gin said: “I am excited to be partnering with Scottish Bioenergy, in the creation of FIRKIN Blue.

"It is an interesting direction for us but we have never been known to shy away from the unusual and present breakthrough products to the market.”

The new gin is the fourth release from the Scottish producer, which was established on 2015 under the Gleann Mor Spirits Company business name.

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