For anyone who missed it, this wee piece on the Arran Gin company was in the article That’s the spirit: discover the Scottish gin distillers making waves in 2019 on 21st June in The Herald.
Arran Gin – the story of an island shopkeeper and artisanal baker, coming together to create a genuinely unique liquid and gin experience. This collaboration between two rural food businesses, both obsessed with foraging local ingredients, has resulted in a bold new taste: “Through foraging, we know it’s possible to find citrus notes in a land of no lemons, bitters and spice without exotic flown-in ingredients, or sweetness and perfume from neglected marshland. Common plants with a mightier effect than you might think!”
Arran Gin is loaded with at least double the weight of botanicals used in normal gins – it packs a punch. Only interesting plants are selected for their big taste and interplay: sea lettuce, hogweed seed, meadowsweet, noble fir, lemon balm and fuchsia… powerhouse flavours for the Gin Team. In a very crowded market Arran Gin strive to taste different and go further.
During their quest for sustainable botanical habitats around the island (the team spends a lot of time on kayaks and in hiking boots) they stumbled upon a stunning location for a forthcoming micro-distillery and visitor experience: The Arran GinHouse at Cladach will open in 2020. This is a magical location, at the shoreline of Brodick Castle, and is fondly remembered by both locals and tourists as a destination nature centre. Today the charmingly dilapidated ‘gin shack’ has been a base for recipe development, talks and tastings – including a recent pop-up Beach Party. The distillery site will soon become a bespoke destination, with the distilling complemented by a Gin School and Foraging Trips (‘a beach-to-bottle experience’).
As for the gin itself: big floral and herby aromas – coastal and vegetal, evoke the scents of summer shorelines and meadows. The taste is smooth and creamy, with sweetness, citrus and spice – intriguing and distinct from the nose.
Sipped neat over ice, this gin is big enough to keep giving on its own. For a classic G&T: big chunks of ice, Fever Tree Med tonic, and garnish with a grapefruit and mint combo – savoury and fresh. Straying from tonic, Arran Gin excels with rose lemonade or ginger ale. Fever’s new Spiced Orange Ginger Ale is a winner.
The team’s next creation will be a locally-picked bramble liqueur, with other recipes in the pipeline. We are fortunate to have a rich island larder to work with.