Gin City: 10 of Scotland's Best Gins

Feature by Peter Simpson | 05 Jan 2017

A whole host of you wrote in to our Food & Drink Survey expressing your love for Edinburgh Gin; with that in mind, here's a short introduction to some of Scotland's best gins

Of all the developments in Scotland's food and drink scene recently (tacos everywhere, artisanal pizza, hygge-meets-industrial interiors), the resurgence of gin seems to have been one of the most low-key. It's the sign of a genuine movement; not too many big flashy marketing campaigns or launches, just loads of interesting bottles turning up in your favourite bars for you to gawp at and drink from. 

One of the great things about gin is you don't need all that much space to make it, and so distillers have been popping up everywhere. Hell, we walk past one on the way into the office every day – Pickering's Gin are based in what can best be described as an outbuilding at Summerhall, but produce an excellent gin that's great with a slice of grapefruit (and some tonic, in a glass). Down in Leith, the Achroous gin from Electric Spirit Co is an action-packed affair full of tasty botanicals and served up in the coolest bright orange bottle you've ever seen. 

Edinburgh Gin, meanwhile, offer up a host of flavoured gins from elderflower to rhubarb – plus an intriguing Seaside Gin, reminding you of those gin-soaked family trips to the beach – and over in Glasgow Makar serve up a smooth, juniper-heavy gin in another pretty cool bottle. It's heptagonal, sort of. And talk of cool Scottish gin bottles has to include The Botanist, the Islay spirit whose embossed lettering makes it look a bit like an alcoholic totem pole.

Then there's the sheer variety of gin doing the rounds. Like a sweeter gin? Go for a Caorunn, served on the rocks with a slice of Pink Lady apple. More of a veg fan? Get yourself a Hendrick's, infused with cucumber (so it's basically one of your five-a-day, kind of). The Isle of Harris gin is infused with locally-sourced sea kelp, while Jinzu features cherry blossom, sake and yuzu fruit for a thoroughly Japanese take. And to really push things to the next level, the Heather Rose Gin from the Strathearn Distillery performs the neat trick of changing colour when you pour in your tonic. Gin – no wonder so many of you like it, it's literally magical.