Using neeps from her neighbour’s Aberdeenshire farm, Claire Rennie, founder of small-batch Scottish tonic water Walter Gregor’s, has created a neep tonic water in time for toasting Robert Burns on 25 January.
Talking about how the new flavour came about, Claire said: “I love haggis but couldn’t find a suggested drink to pair with it that wasn’t whisky.
"As neeps and tatties are the natural accompaniment for haggis, we started experimenting with Ogilvy Vodka, a potato vodka produced on another Scottish farm in Angus.
"With some neeps from our neighbour’s farm, we discovered that the infused tonic had a delicious clear, crisp citrus flavour with an aroma of neep. Using Ogilvy’s tattie vodka we created the ‘Neeps & Tatties Cocktail’.
"We use an all-natural production process to create a softer bubble in our tonics which allows the flavours to sing. I think it makes the perfect Burns Night aperitif, served with a haggis bon-bon.”
The Scottish Neep Tonic is a limited edition and is available on the Walter Gregor’s website for delivery in the month of January only.
It is made on site in Aberdeenshire and contains only natural ingredients including carbonated Scottish water, Scottish neep infusion, quinine and sugar from British grown sugar beet.
January boxes (available as part of a monthly subscription service or as a standalone delivery) include:
Totally Tonic: 3 x Scottish Neep Tonic, 3 x Original Tonic: £12.50 (free delivery to subscribers)
Perfect Serve: 2 x Scottish Neep Tonic, 2 x Original Tonic, 2 x 10cl Ogilvy Vodka (free delivery to subscribers) £27.50
Case of 24 Scottish Neep Tonic to pre order: £35 plus delivery
Claire founded Walter Gregor’s in 2015 (a year after launching her lemonade company Summerhouse Drinks) on the Aberdeenshire land her husband’s family has farmed for four generations.
With a walled garden full of fresh botanicals and spotting a gap in the market for a home-grown mixer to complement the rising number of craft gins being produced in Scotland, Claire set about making her own tonics.
Now Claire and her small team on the farm have a core range of five tonics: Apple & Cinnamon, Mint & Cucumber, Scottish Raspberry, Original and Spiced.
In addition, they launched a monthly subscription box service sending out tonics and perfect serves and have started to export drinks to as far afield as the USA and South Korea.
Most recently as part of their commitment to sustainability they have developed a completely no-plastic packaging solution to safely transport their glass bottles using only 100 per cent recyclable cardboard.
All tonics, including the new neep tonic water, are available to by via the website.
Scran episode 4: The botanics of gin - with Hamish Martin of the Secret Herb Garden