Stirred into action
A spin-off from the 1990s revival in cocktail consumption, younger, more affluent drinkers have developed a fresh taste for gin.
Over 70% of gin made in the UK is produced in Scotland, including three of the bestsellers - Hendrick’s, Tanqueray and Gordon’s, the world’s number one London dry gin.
The spirit is undergoing a revolution. Today’s gin drinkers want bigger and brighter flavours, exotic mixers and bucket loads of ice.
Baristas and consumers also crave exclusivity. After all, why drink mass-market ‘London Dry’ gin, when you can opt for locally-produced, small-batch distillations, flavoured with such exotic botanicals as rock rose, coriander seeds, cassia bark or Lebanese mint?
Shake it up
The gin industry, once the preserve of a few big players, is now facing stiff competition from a range of ambitious new producers.
Old steadings, cellars and warehouses across Scotland are being repurposed to produce gin.
Spurred on by the global success of Hendrick’s Gin, produced in Ayrshire by whisky giants William S Grant & Sons, a whole host of new gins have entered the market.
The Botanist Gin, made at the historic Bruicladdich distillery on Islay, is flavoured with 22 foraged island botanicals including gorse and wild mint.
In Caithness, the makers of Rock Rose use a unique distilling process which infuses 18 botanicals in their gin, of which five are grown locally.
And at the Arbikie Distillery in Arbroath, distiller Kirsty Black is using juniper, kelp, carline thistle and blaeberries to add flavour to raw spirit made from her farm's own potatoes.