January 25th marks Burns Night, traditionally celebrated with haggis, neaps and tatties – and of course a dram (or two) or Scotch whisky.
Unsurprisingly, though, we prefer to celebrate with a glass of lovely Scottish craft gin – and now the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) have gone a step further, launching a new Scotland Gin Trail to coincide with the celebration of Scots bard's birthday.
Basically, it looks like the best road trip ever (as long as someone else is doing the driving!).
Scotland now produces a whopping 70% of the UK’s gin, with new distilleries popping up across the country. The hope is that the new trail, supported by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will help to showcase this burgeoning industry.
Mirroring the London Gin Trail that was launched by the WSTA in 2015 (which we reported on here) the Scotland trail takes in 12 ginny sites across the country, from distillers to specialist gin bars.
Launched at the Edinburgh Gin Distillery, the map includes locations all the way from Shetland Reel Gin on the UK’s most northerly inhabited island of Unst, down to craft distilleries and bars in the Highlands, Fife and the central belt.
The WSTA says that the current map is not yet comprehensive and they look forward to adding more distillers and other locations who want to feature in the trail.
Environment secretary, Elizabeth Truss said: “From premium brands, such as Hendricks, to craft distillers such as Crossbill, this new trail captures the variety and diversity of UK gin-making, providing visitors from all over the world the opportunity to celebrate Burns Night by experiencing the best of British gin from all across Scotland.
I want to harness the ambition of our Scottish gin-trepreneurs, helping them to grow the UK’s reputation for quality gin both here and abroad. I want to see it up there with Scotch whisky in terms of global sales.”
Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, said: “This is a hugely exciting time for everyone involved in the UK gin industry and our gin trail is the start of a fascinating venture to share the origins, art and innovations involved in producing this Great British spirit.”
The 12 locations on the Scotland Gin Trail are: