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Craft56° Blog | Scottish Gins and Craft Drinks Explored

  1. Alternative Burns Night Scottish Drinks

    January can feel like a long month, especially for those who choose to take part in Dry January!

    One event that many look forward to is Burns Night and it will be upon us very soon.

    Burns Nights have been an almost annual event since 1801, with the first one being held in Burns' Cottage on 21 July 1801, the fifth anniversary of his death. It was the following year that it was held in January, the month of his birthday, for the first time.

    Traditionally, Burns Nights involve haggis, whisky and recital of his poetry.

    However, don't let tradition put you off and you can still enjoy celebrating Burns Night even if you don't like haggis or whisky. In fact, Burns himself didn't limit himself to whisky and he enjoyed a number of tipples including rum, brandy, ale and port.


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  2. January 2020 Gin of the Month - Inshriach Original Speyside Gin

    We are delighted to introduce Inshriach Original Speyside Gin - the first featured gin of the new decade in our Scottish Gin Club! Find out more about the gin and the amazing story behind it below.

    Inshriach Distillery

    Led by Master Distiller Walter Micklethwait, Inshriach Distillery is situated in the picturesque Inshriach Estate in the Highlands of Scotland. The 200 acre estate is bordered by the River Spey to the north and the foothills of the Cairngorms to the south.

    Inshriach Original Speyside Gin
    Photo Cred

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  3. December 2019 Gin of the Month - Biggar Gin

    The final gin to be featured in our Scottish Gin Club this year is Biggar Original Recipe Gin. We chose to feature Biggar during a winter month as we find it makes a mean gin and ginger ale (G&G) which is perfect for a cosy night in front of the fire! Find out more about the gin and the people behind it below. 

    The Biggar Gin Co.

    Launched in spring 2018 by brothers Stuart and Euan McVicar, Biggar Gin is located at the bottom of Tinto Hill on the outskirts of Biggar in South Lanarkshire. After growing up in the town both brothers moved away from Biggar for education and work but have slowly migrated back to settle down.

    The Macvicar brothers behind Biggar Gin

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

    It's the middle of the month which only means one'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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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