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Craft56° Blog | Scottish Gins and Craft Drinks Explored

  1. November 2019's Gin of the Month - Mackintosh Scottish Gin

    It's the middle of the month which only means one thing...it's delivery day for our Scottish Gin Club members!

    This month our members will be enjoying Mackintosh Scottish Gin - a classic London Dry gin from Angus that picked up the Silver Medal at the Scottish Gin Awards last month.

    Mackintosh Gin

    Launched in late 2018 by James & Deborah Mackintosh, Mackintosh Gin is a family affair with James and Deborah’s three daughters all being part of the brand and development.

    Mackintosh Scottish Gin Team

    James & Deborah had the idea to create a gin after visiting several gin festivals, masterclasses and tasting events and purchasing around 50 different bottles of gin along the way! T

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  2. Scottish Tonic Water - The Perfect Pairing

    Gin & Tonic go together like salt & pepper or bread & butter. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that with the growing number of Scottish gins hitting the market in recent years we’ve also seen the emergence of Scottish tonic waters.

    Much like the introduction of gin into the United Kingdom, the credit must go to the military for the development of tonic water. A key ingredient in most tonic waters is quinine which is derived from the bark of the cinchona tree. Distinctively bitter, quinine was prescribed to control the risk of malaria. In order to improve the taste of the bitter medicine, it was mixed with soda water, sugar and, crucially, gin. So, the refreshingly delicious drink we know today was originally invented for medicinal purposes!

    Find out more below about Scotland’s take on the world’s favourite partner for gin.

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  3. October 2019's Gin of the Month - Crossbill Highland Dry Gin

    This month our Scottish Gin Club members are enjoying one of Glasgow's best gins. Crossbill HIghland Dry Gin is distilled in the iconic Barras, just to the east of the city centre. 

    The Distillery & Gin School

    Crossbill started life in the Scottish Highlands when the founder Jonathan was captivated by the idea of reviving Scotland’s juniper production. In 2017 the distilling site was moved to Glasgow and is based in Barras Art and Design (BAaD) in the heart of Glasgow’s east end. The move allowed Crossbill to significantly increase production to meet demand.

    Crossbill Highland Dry Gin Bottle

    Following the success of the Hatchery Gin School, where you can learn about the gin mak

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  4. The Secret Behind Blue Colour Changing Gins

    There are now over 300 different being made in Scotland and amongst them are a growing number of colour changing gins.

    We’re going to explore our favourite Scottish blue colour changing gins and the magical botanicals that give them their colour changing properties.

    Behind each of the blue colour changing gins is a floral botanical which is included in the botanical blend. The inclusion of the flowers gives the gins their blue hue and also create the theatre of changing colour. The change happens when adding an acidic ingredient such as tonic water. The gins will go from the blue to a delicate lilac/pink colour.

    Butterfly Pea Gins

    Butterfly pea is an Asian botanical which has been used for many years in Asian cooking as well as in teas.

    McLean’s Something Blue Gin

    Something Blue Gin was first lau

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  5. Boozy Baking with Craft56° - Gin, Tonic & Orange Cupcakes

    With the hints of an Indian Summer we've been experiencing in Glasgow this week the next in our Boozy Baking series saw us attempt some refreshing Gin, Tonic & Orange cupcakes.

    Boozy Baking with Craft56

    We used a combination of Ellis No.3 Butterfly Pea Gin and Cushiedoos quinine-free Scottish Tonic Water to make our cupcakes. We love the deep, earthy floral tones in the gin which complements orange well. As Cushiedoos tonic is quinine-free it's not as bitter as other botanicals so knew it would also work well in the recipe.

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  6. September 2019's Gin of the Month - Drookit Piper Gin

    Our chosen gin of the month for the gin club members this month is the newly launched Drookit Piper Gin from Pixel Spirits.

    Given the weather we've experienced this summer, it only seemed right that to mark the end of summer we featured a gin that takes its name from the Scots word 'Drookit' which means absolutely soaked or drenched, a fairly regular occurrence in the area of Scotland where the distillery is based!

    The Distillery

    The Pixel Spirits distillery is based in the grounds of the scenic Loch Leven Hotel in North Ballachulish in the north west highlands. Craig and Noru Innes, a husband and wife team, converted a barn into their micro-distillery which houses Orsetta (meaning Little Bear), the i-still that helps Craig produce the tasty liquids in batches of less than 100 bottles. Craig and Noru have recently converted another outbuilding to house the Pixel Spirits Gin School where you can create your own bottle of gin.

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  7. Top 10 Facts About (Scottish) Gin

    Here in Scotland we have a proud history of producing quality spirits. For many years Scotland has been synonymous with whisky and while our whisky is still second to none, over the past few years we've seen the dramatic emergence of Scottish Gin as a category in its own right.

    Take a look at our top facts about gin (and Scottish gin) that will impress even the most knowledgeable gin connoisseur!

    1. The name gin is a shortened form of genever which is derived from juniperus, the Latin name for the juniper berry

    2. Juniper berries are not actually a berry, they are a fleshy seed cone. Aside from use in gin production, juniper berries are commonly used as a spice in European cuisine.

    Juniper Berries

    3. The mass appeal of gin dates back to the 17th century when the Dutch used it as a medicine. However, the earliest k

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  8. Boozy Baking with Craft56° - Spiced Rum & Raisin Cookies

    It’s been a long time but the return of the Great British Bake Off this week has inspired us to get back into the kitchen and get some boozy baking done!

    Boozy Baking with Craft56

    It’s hardly a showstopper but we thought we’d ease ourselves back into it with some Spiced Rum & Raisin Cookies.

    We decided to go with Wester Spiced Rum as we love the full-bodied flavour of the spices, citrus zests and vanilla in it.

    Wester Spiced Rum Bottle

    The

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  9. The History of Gin in Scotland

    Scotland is at the forefront of the current ‘gin boom’ with over 70% of the gin made in the UK being made in Scotland. This includes Gordon’s (the world’s biggest selling gin), Hendrick’s, Tanqueray as well as a host of small-batch, independent producers from every corner of Scotland.

    There are now around 100 gin distilleries in Scotland, the majority of which started production after 2009 when a legal case was won against HMRC and companies won the right to distil in small scale as opposed on an industrial scale.

    However, Scotland’s association with gin dates back much further than the last 10 years! Scotland’s love affair with gin can be traced back to the 1700s and is largely associated with Leith.

    Gin Lane by William Hogarth
    Gin

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  10. Why is Gin Known as Mother's Ruin?

    With the rapid increase of craft gins emerging on the scene, we thought we'd look into why exactly is one of our favourite tipples also known as “Mother’s Ruin”?

    The phrase “Mother’s Ruin” is regularly used across the UK as another term for gin, yet the reason behind how this phrase originated remains unclear. So, to find out more, we first need to delve deeper into the history of gin.

    Throughout the Thirty Years War in Central Europe from 1618-1648, British soldiers were provided with gin to settle their nerves. At the same time, the spirit was also used in London as a medicine to treat kidney problems or indigestion. Following on from this, “Jenever” was regularly imported from the Netherlands to the UK since it was so cheap.

    “Jenever” is the traditional, juniper-based liquor from the Netherlands which was adapted by producers in England who used their own grains to produce their own versions of th

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