Wild Gin is the latest launch from the Old Curiosity distillery in Edinburgh, and is made using herbs native to one of Scotland's most unique and relatively unknown natural phenomenons - The Flow Country.
The Flow Country is Europe’s largest blanket bog - a vast mass of peat and Sphagnum moss - that covers 200,000 hectares in Caithness and Sutherland.
Home to many rare animals, birds, insects and plants, the peat also acts as a natural store for carbon, helping to offset the effects of climate change.
Using this as inspiration, the new gin has been distilled with botanicals from Flow Country, which include sweet cicely, bog myrtle and dwarf birch.
For those looking to try it first, there is a special event on from 24 July - 25 August in Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Gardens.
The Old Curiosity Distillery has joined forces with Glasgow-based art house, Cryptic, to bring the gin to the public during the art and music event, Below the Blanket.
Below the Blanket will showcase art and music inspired by the Flow Country with 20 per cent of all Wild Gin sales will be gifted to RSPB Scotland, who manage much of the land and have a vital research centre at Forsinard.
Audiences at Below the Blanket will be the first to purchase an exclusive taste of the Wild Gin from The Old Curiosity’s on-site botanical bar, prior to it being publicly available as 50cl bottles from September.
Below The Blanket features work from artists Kathy Hinde, Luci Holland, Hannah Imlach, Heather Lander, Matthew Olden and composer Malcolm Lindsay who have all spent time in residency at Forsinard, and takes inspiration from the Flow Country's wildlife and soundscape, the gradual process of peat formation, and even the way the blanket bog 'breathes' as it expands and contracts.
With a Wild Gin in hand, visitors to the gardens will embark on a twilight journey through artworks that are evocative, emotive and beautiful, and will come away enlightened about this unique Scottish landscape.
Presented as part of The Peatland Partnership’s Flows to the Future Project (with RSPB Scotland as lead partner), Below the Blanket is produced by Cryptic, with Creative Direction by Cathie Boyd.
Hamish Martin, Director of Secret Garden Gin, has described how inspirational he has found the collaboration: “At Secret Garden Gin we celebrate all that is wild and are thrilled to launch our ‘Wild’ Gin as a lasting legacy for Below The Blanket, a walking meditation through one of Scotland’s most inspirational landscapes.
"Our new ‘Wild’ Gin is a classic London dry - a truly complex gin that allows the remarkable but little-tasted flavours in our indigenous wild plants such as dwarf birch, bog myrtle, yarrow and nettle to really shine.
"I am passionate about allowing the ‘wild’ into our lives, no matter where we live. Even if you only have the smallest window box, I think it’s vital that you always leave a patch of it wild and uncultivated and let nature into your life.
"At the Secret Herb Garden, which supplies many of the botanicals used in the gin alongside some sustainably foraged from the Flow Country, we take our yarrow and bog myrtle as seriously as we do our apothecary roses - these are native plants to be respected, not seen as ‘weeds’.
"We can’t wait for Below the Blanket audiences to taste their first ‘Wild’ Gin and for it to hit the shelves in September.”
Cathie Boyd, Artistic Director of Cryptic said: “We are lucky to have found a partnership which perfectly complements, not only our mission to capture the public’s curiosity, but the aims and ambitions of this project.
"Below the Blanket features many artworks inspired by the sights, sounds and feel of the Flow Country and now, with Wild Gin, audiences can even experience the taste of this treasured landscape, ‘ravishing the senses’ and making their journey all the more memorable.
"We are grateful to The Old Curiosity for their support; initially starting as a small seed, it has now bloomed into a celebration of what this significant corner of Scotland has to offer – it is a fitting toast to the invaluable impact of The Peatlands Partnership’s Flow to the Future Project and on-going work of RSPB Scotland.”
Cryptic presents Below the Blanket
Wed 24 July – Sun 25 August 2019 (closed Tue)
19.00 – 21.00 (with intakes every 15 minutes)
£14 / £12 RBGE Members / £8 Concession + booking fee