Outlander star Caitriona Balfe announces launch of Forget Me Not Gin - with proceeds going to arts programmes

The Outlander star has announced details of her Scottish gin.

Published 11th Aug 2020
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Back in March we reported that the star of Outlander was hinting at releasing a Scottish Forget Me Not gin, and now more details have been revealed.

Earlier this month, Caitriona who plays Sam Heughan's on-screen love interest Claire, wrote on her social media: "Drinking to Remember...#SupportTheArts #ForgetMeNot #ScottishGin#" alongside a video of her enjoying a G&T in the sun with her cat, next to a bottle of what looks to be her Forget Me Not gin.

Now, the Irish actor has revealed more details of the gin in another post, saying: "It’s time to pour yourself a generous gin... I am excited to announce our website is now live for anyone wanting to register their interest in our first batch of Forget Me Not Gin."

Supporting the arts

Proceeds from the gin will go to support art projects throughout the world, as Caitriona explains on the Forget Me Not website, writing: "It’s an opportunity to support the arts and acknowledge the positive contribution creative industries make to society.

"Literature, visual and performance art touches our lives daily and for that we have to thank the many architects, actors, dancers, filmmakers, musicians, painters, poets, photographers and writers (amongst many others) who’s hard work we have the privilege of enjoying.

"Sadly, arts funding has been cut across the globe over the past decade. Many of the artists we know and love today received financial assistance in their early years that allowed them to become successful, full-time artists.

"We want to help plug the funding gap that exists today so that tomorrow’s important artists get the support they need to reach their full potential. The Covid-19 pandemic has already lead to further cuts in arts funding and the situation will only worsen as we enter a worldwide recession, so artists need our support more than ever."

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The first project to be supported by the gin is the SWG3 Graduate Programme - a 12-month sponsored studio residency and commissioning programme open to artists and designers each year.

Based in Glasgow, SWG3 has become a hub for art, design and live music, and the graduate programme has been running since 2005, when SWG3 first opened its doors to artists.

The gin

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While the distillery that makes the gin is unknown, the gin is described as a 'botanical gin distilled and lovingly handcrafted in the Highlands of Scotland.'

Botanicals include juniper, elderflower. coconut, beetroot, lavender and forget me not flowers - a nod to the significance that these blooms hold in the Outlander series.

How to buy 

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Those keen to buy a first edition, signed bottle as soon as the gin becomes available in their country can register their interest via the gin's website now.

Those who have pre-registered in the UK and Europe can now buy a bottle, as the star announced on her Twitter.

How did it all come about?

At the beginning of March the Irish actor wrote on her official Twitter and Instagram accounts: “It’s all about to be gin.”

Accompanied with the hashtags #ForgetMeNot and #Staytuned, the post refers to the reported £400 million cuts to arts spending in the UK, prompting speculation that the gin could be being produced in a bid to raise funds for the sector.

One user responded: “If this is a gin, with some proceeds going to arts culture AND it’s available in the U.K. I am SO all over it Caitríona.”

While another added: “If this is a gin where my money is going towards the arts, SIGN ME UP.”

Forget Me Not Gin, comes in the wake of co-star Sam's Sassenach whisky release, which won double gold at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits competition in May, and will be available to buy in the UK soon.

The whisky, which was launched earlier this year, is a nod to the nickname Sam’s character Jamie has given his on-screen love interest Claire on the show and realises a dream the Scots actor has had for a long time.

Sassenach launched in the US on 2 March following an announcement in August 2019 that the star was creating a whisky with his Sassenach Spirits company.

Tweeting at the time of the Sassenach launch, the Sassenach Spirits team said: “Inspired by the Highland landscape, the Sassenach is a uniquely blended Scotch whisky with a distinct character and smooth flavour, suitable for any occasion.

“Ancient peaks, hidden glens, and rising morning mist, freshwater and firm oak run deep in its veins. Matured in casks that previously held fine Madeira wine, the exceptional blend has an underlying rich character that rises to the forefront.”

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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