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Review: The Scottish Juniper Festival

Emma of Food and Drink Glasgow makes the pilgrimage through to Edinburgh to check out the Juniper Festival in Edinburgh.

Published: June 14, 2016

The Juniper Festival has quickly become a much loved and anticipated part of the Edinburgh scene and this year's festival builds on the success of previous years, with around 1750 people attending over the weekend.

Gins came from as far afield as Chicago with their Koval gin. Picture: F&DG

Gins came from as far afield as Chicago with their Koval gin. Picture: F&DG

Well known brands mixed with newcomers, with producers extolling the virtues of their wares and showing off their different mixes of botanicals, unique production processes and flavours.

This year there was everything from citrus flavoured gins to spiced gins and even some chocolate mint gin from Callander (the very interesting McQueen Gin) of all places.

Gins ranging from afar afield as Brooklyn (Brooklyn Gin) and Chicago (Koval Gin), through to those closer to home like Edinburgh (Daffy's, Pickering's and Edinburgh gin) and Glasgow (Makar), battle it out to grab your attention and as the samples flowed, we were astounded at just how many different flavours we found.


Hoxton gin made their own, very unique mark. Picture: F&DG

Workshops throughout the day lead you through the appreciation of gin, learning all about how each drink is developed by the various different distilleries and how best to appreciate them.

This year, even we discovered a bundle of gins we hadn't heard of, including a new one from the Lake District (Langton's No.1) and one from Belgium (Copperhead).

We enjoyed the samples at each stand and were happy to see local retailer Drinkmonger on hand to provide an area for guests to purchase people's new found favourite gins by the bottle, and at great prices that meant you could take a little bit of the festival home with you.

Other retailers peddling their wares included the The Edinburgh Natural Skincare Company and the whimsical MuMu Kitsch which were selling wonderful looking teacups for gin cocktails.

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Though we didn't get a chance to check it out, Pickering's also offer an abbreviated tour of their excellent distillery which nestles within the bowels of Suummerhall and is well worth checking out if you get the chance.

When you've had your fill of all the wonderful gin, be sure to keep some room for Fresh Revolution (and their delightful Irish Pakora) as well as some delicious slow cooked meats (and maple mayo) from Ròst, served in Summerhall's spacious Courtyard.

Afterwards, you can always retire to the Royal Dick for a bottle of Summerhall's resident brewer Barney's beer.

Overall, the festival goes from strength to strength and is well worth the £20 or so it costs for entry and the sheer range of gins available will leave any gin fan smiling from ear to ear.

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Having travelled throughout Europe, Emma and Mark set up Food and Drink Glasgow to showcase the various places that they visited whilst out and about. Covering food, drink, accommodation and events, has led to the blog being a No1 foodie blog for Glasgow.

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