The Hot 100 2015: from potato to pitcher – the year in Scottish drinks
- Jay Thundercliffe
- 4 November 2015
There's much more to Scotland's range of drinks than whisky and gin
Rather like the proverbial bus, two potato vodkas – Ogilvy and Arbikie (pictured) – have arrived at roughly the same time. Hailing from fertile Angus, both are family operations whose use of the humble crop has elevated the spud into premium product echelons. This year, Ogilvy’s vodka won the overall Vodka Trophy at the prestigious International Spirit and Wine Competition.
Dark Matter Rum
Hopes of an all-Scottish spirit lineup could be in sight as whisky, gin and vodka were joined this year by Scotland’s first rum. The country’s only dedicated rum distillery in Banchory is currently producing a spiced dark rum (a white version is also in the pipeline) using sugarcane molasses, with hits of ginger, allspice and green peppercorns.
Walter Gregor’s Tonic Water
With all that gin swilling around the country, there was a gap in the market for a local mixer until Aberdeenshire’s canny Summerhouse Drinks introduced their own tonic water this year. The drink is named after a Victorian minister who resided in the Manse where the company is based.
Tea drinkers should raise a cuppa to Scotland’s recent success in producing tea. Fife-based Wee Tea Company’s smoked white variety won the prestigious Salon du Thé Gold Award this year. Also hitting the PekoeTea shops in Edinburgh is Susie Walker-Munro’s Kinnettles Gold, a single estate brew grown on her farm in Angus.
While Irn-Bru still rules the roost, more artisanal, hand-crafty fizz producers have been popping up of late, most notably in the capital. There you’ll find global fusion flavours courtesy of Kitsch, enticing offerings such as sea buckthorn from Timberyard’s Cry Baby Soda poperation or all-natural fruity concoctions from Granton-based Roots Soda.