The Hot 100 2014: The Gin Crowd
Mother’s ruin has come a long way and here we round up some of our favourite gins, both old and new
Producer William Grant & Sons not only showed the way for the country’s gin renaissance but demonstrated to the world that, beyond the legally required juniper, gin was a blank canvas for creative concocting. Their addition of crisp cucumber and rose petal giving fresh floral hits, plus the kooky marketing and medicinal bottle, was a revolutionary milestone in gin history.
Produced by one of the oldest independent bottlers in Scotland, Cadenhead's Old Raj has been around for decades, coming in a powerful blue-label 55%ABV or a (slightly) mellower red at 46%. Old Raj doesn’t faff with easily gathered Scottish botanicals, preferring the classily expensive saffron from crocus flowers, which impart a pale yellow hue and hint of exotic spice to this spirit.
The Summerhall Distillery was established in 2013 in the old kennels of the Dick Vet school. Edinburgh’s first gin distillery in over 150 years creates a traditionally styled spirit, tweaked from a hand-written Bombay recipe dating from 1947. As well as some cool vehicular mobile gin bars, they also have their spirit pumped straight to a tap in the neighbouring Royal Dick bar.
An early player in the current gin revival, the makers of Spencerfield’s Sheep Dip created this classic juniper-led gin in 2010, adding Scottish twists with heather, pine and milk thistle. In 2014, operations moved to the enchanting micro-distillery and visitor centre in the Rutland Hotel’s basement. Their spicy Cannonball version, 57%ABV, is best handled cautiously.
Produced at the Balmenach Distillery in the Cairngorms National Park, this gin’s five-sided bottle reflects the five Celtic botanicals that are used to infuse the traditional spirit - rowan berry, heather, bog myrtle, dandelion and coul blush apple. Serve with an apple slice to enhance the complex herbs and fruits of this smooth gin.