Craft56° Blog | Scottish Gins and Craft Drinks Explored
Posted: September 14, 2019|Categories: Gin of the Month
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 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.
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.
3. The mass appeal of gin dates back to the 17th century when the Dutch used it as a medicine. However, the earliest k
Posted: August 29, 2019|Categories: Boozy Baking With Craft56°
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!
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.
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.
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
Posted: August 16, 2019|Categories: Gin of the Month
This month our Scottish Gin Club members are enjoying a very special limited edition gin from McLean's Gin. Launched in 2017 from their one bedroom flat in the southside of Glasgow, McLean's Gin have a range of 6 gins which are made by using a cold compund method with has been popular in gin production since the 17th century.
Their seventh gin saw their first venture into distilled gin and Something Clear was launched in June 2019.
With only 352 bottles ever being produced, Something Clear Gin is also the first in the McLean's 'Collectors Edition' series.
Buying gifts can be tough but with the help our handy guide to gin gift sets, you will delight the gin lover in your life!
Over the past few years gin has become hugely popular again with drinkers of all (legal) ages from all corners of the world declaring their love for the traditionally clear spirit*. With its ever-growing popularity you are sure to know someone who would appreciate one of our gin gift sets - they are extremely hard to come by and cannot be found in any supermarket or gift shop!
Our gin gift buying guide features gifts suitable for any occasion including Christmas, birthdays, weddings and house warmings and will suit any budget.
* Some folk prefer to drink gin that is pink, blue, red, orange etc in colour - we've catered for them too!
This month our Scottish Gin Club members are enjoying the delightfully refreshing Lind & Lime Gin from the Port of Leith Distillery – the perfect G&T for a summer evening.
Port of Leith Distillery
Established by two friends in 2017, Port of Leith Distillery is situated just a stone's throw from the docks where for many centuries a vast array of goods came into Scotland including spices, botanicals and spirits including Jenever from Holland and rum from the Caribbean.
Currently based in the Tower Street Still House which is shared with anot
The story behind what we know today as navy strength gin began during the first ‘gin boom’ in the 18th century.
The Royal Navy legislated that there had to be a certain amount of gin on each vessel while they were sailing on the high seas. Gin was required on board to help fight illness and diseases which were rife.
However, some of the officers were suspicious of the gin, especially as the quality varied so much from city to city and felt it had been overly watered down.
In order to test the gin was of an acceptable quality, it was tested by lighting a mixture of the spirit and gunpowder. If it burned with a clear flame this was ‘proof’ that the spirit was of sufficient standard (at least 114 proof or 57% ABV in today’s terms). Failure to light or a smoky flame were signs that the spirit was below the required strength.
Despite links to the 18th century, the term ‘navy strength gin’ is actually a marketing cr
While the demand for traditional style gins is continuing to grow (there are now over 250 Scottish gins), we're also seeing the rise of Pink Gins which have been becoming increasing popular over the past few years. It's just been announced that you can buy Pink Gin Ice Cream!
Many of the Scottish gin distilleries that we work with have released their own take on the fruity and floral pink gin style so we thought we'd showcase some of our favourites.
What is Pink Gin?
Pink gin originated in the mid-19th century and consisted of Plymouth Gin, a dash of Angostura bitters and was commonly garnished with some lemon rind. It was the addition of the bitters that gave the gin it's pink colour.
It is thought that pink gin was created by members of the Royal Navy to help make the consumption of Angostura bitters more enjoyable as they were used as a treatment for sea sickness in 1824 by Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siebert. The addition of Plymouth Gin, a sli