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The Essence of Scotland: A Comprehensive Guide to Scottish Gin

Scottish G+T
Scottish G+T

Scottish Gin is a truly captivating beverage that has earned the admiration of experts worldwide. Its history is rich, its flavor profiles are unique, and its character is truly one-of-a-kind, setting it apart from all other types of gin. In this piece, we will delve deeper into the defining features of Scottish Gin, exploring its extensive legacy, highlighting the differences that set it apart from other gins, and examining the typical flavor profiles that make it truly exceptional.

A Rich History of Scottish Gin

The origins of Scottish Gin can be traced back to the 18th century in Leith, Edinburgh. The first bottles of fiery Dutch Jenever were traded into the Port of Leith. Leith's dockside location allowed for easy access to raw materials and exotic spices, as the Scots traded with the Dutch in exchange for wool and other supplies. The country's abundance of natural resources, including pristine water sources and a variety of botanicals, played an integral role in the development of a unique gin-making tradition.

Harris Gin, a “social distillery” that employs almost 40 people on an island of less than 2,000, is one of many prime gin-supping spots in Scotland.
Harris Gin, a “social distillery” that employs almost 40 people on an island of less than 2,000, is one of many prime gin-supping spots in Scotland.

By the 19th century, Scotland had become a bustling hub for distilleries, producing a diverse range of gins that showcased the distinctive terroir of the region. Today, Scottish Gin continues to thrive with 90 gin distilleries and plans to build more! Here us a Scottish Gin Distillery Map

Facts You Didnt Kow About Scottish Gin Apart

1. Scottish gin accounts for 70% of the UK's overall gin production.

It's true, we really like making gin in Scotland. In fact, alongside small-batch craft gins, three of the world's best-selling gins: Hendrick's, Gordon's and Tanqueray, are all made here.

2. Gin is made from juniper berries, but juniper is not a berry!

It's actually a seed.Nearly all of the juniper used in gin-making is picked straight from the wild. During the plague years in the 14th century, doctors wore masks stuffed with juniper and people even began eating and drinking juniper, with the hopes it would fend off infection and disease.

3. Edinburgh Gin love their pot stills - they've named them 'Flora' & 'Caledonia'.

A small-batch distillery spreading the love of gin across the capital, Edinburgh Gin has a selection of delicious spirits on offer. And, they're not the only gin distillery to give their stills nicknames. The Bruichladdich (makers of The Botanist on Islay) have one called 'Ugly Betty'.

4. Speaking of The Botanist, they make gin using 22 island botanicals.

The Botanist - Islay's first and only dry gin - uses a selection of wild plants and herbs from the island to flavour the spirit, from apple mint and gorse flowers to Islay juniper and sweet chamomile.

5. Eden Mill's Golf Gin is influenced by materials used to make wooden golf clubs.

The Eden Mill Distillery has been located on the same site for over 200 years. The distillery, which also produces whisky and beer, has been recently inspired by its golf-loving home of St Andrews and makes a gin flavoured by hickory wood.

6. Pickering's Gin is produced on the former site of an old animal hospital.

Formerly the Small Animal Hospital of the Dick Vet School, the Summerhall Distillery in Edinburgh is now a unique gin-making spot in the capital.

7. The House of Elrick makes its gin using fresh water from Loch Ness.

Makers of a beautifully crafted gin, the House of Elrick was built at the height of the Scottish Enlightenment in 1720. It was once visited by Bonnie Prince Charlie, who gifted the Jacobite rose to the estate which now flourishes in the stunning walled garden.

8. Ingredients and Distillation Process

Scottish Gin is often crafted using locally sourced botanicals that are uncommon to other gins, such as heather and sea kelp.

Common Flavor Profiles

The typical flavor profiles of Scottish Gin include:

Juniper-Forward: Classic and robust, with a strong juniper presence.

Citrusy: Bright and zesty, often with notes of lemon or orange.

Herbal: Earthy and complex, with hints of herbs like rosemary or thyme.

Floral: Delicate and fragrant, often infused with flowers like lavender or chamomile.

Some of Scotland's Popular Scottish Gins and Their Flavor Profiles

Hendrick's Gin: Floral and cucumber notes.

The Botanist: Herbal and citrusy, with 22 local botanicals.

Caorunn: Crisp and fresh, with five locally foraged botanicals.

Edinburgh Gin: Known for its wide range of flavored gins, including raspberry and elderflower.

Our Seasonal Favorite Gin Cocktail: Pepper Blossom

Pepper Blossom by Alexi Fisher
Pepper Blossom by Alexi Fisher


1.5 oz. Gin

1 oz. St. Germain

2 oz. Fresh grapefruit juice

1/2 oz. Jalapeno + Honey syrup

Topped with prosecco


Step 1: Begin by quick chilling a cocktail glass.

Step 2: In a shaker, combine all ingredients (except for prosecco) with ice. Shake for 5-8 seconds

Step 3: Empty the cocktail glass and rim with a large grain sugar. Strain concoction into glass.

Step 4: Top with chilled ice and garnish with basil.

Scottish Gin has a pivotal role in celebrating Scotland's rich heritage, natural abundance, and innovative spirit. Its diverse flavor profiles and commitment to local ingredients make it a must-try for any gin enthusiast. Whether you prefer a classic juniper-forward gin or something more experimental, Scotland's distilleries offer something for every palate.

Slàinte Mhath (Slanj-a-va)

Explore the world of Scottish Gin with this comprehensive guide. Delve into its rich history, flavor profiles and renowned brands. Tailored for gin connoisseurs, this article is your gateway to the essence of Scotland.


"Scottish Gin: A Distinct Spirit," by Ian Buxton, 2018.

"The Gin Dictionary," by David T. Smith, 2017.

The Scottish Gin Society, accessed on 7/31/23.

Gin Foundry's Exploration of Scottish Gins, accessed on 7/31/23.

Love Gin? Try This Week-Long Tour of Scotland’s Best Distilleries , accessed on 7/31/23.

Scottish Gin Facts accessed on 7/31/23.


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