Below is an excerpt from GINNED! Magazine about Makar Glasgow Gin. Every month, Craft Gin Club members receive a bottle of amazing small-batch gins accompanied by GINNED! Magazine which is full of features about the gin, the distillery and loads of fascinating features.

Makar Glasgow Gin Brand Ambassador David Thomson concocted a series of four cocktails for GINNED! Magazine in the month of January. The Gin and Winter cocktail below was inspired by Glasgow-born Gerry Rafferty's song, "Winter's Come."

gerry rafferty

Along with the long tradition of poetry embodied in the Makars’ works, Scotland has a proud musical custom. From the lyres dating back four thousand years found on the Isle of Skye to the harps of the Middle Ages, from kilted Highlanders blasting folk music from their bagpipes to Donovan enchanting the counter-culture of the 1960s and 70s, Scottish music reaches all corners of the globe and influences musicians everywhere.

Likewise, the influence for Makar Gin and Winter cocktail comes from the Scottish musician Gerry Rafferty and his song, “Winter’s Come”. Rafferty made his name in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a member of both the Humblebums and Stealers Wheel and went on to have a substantial solo career.     

“Winter’s Come” appeared on the 1988 album, North and South, generally well received by critics and fans. But it was ten years earlier that Rafferty’s undisputed most popular composition, “Baker Street”, was produced. Like many classic rock songs before and after it, “Baker Street” comes with a bit of controversy.

In fact, the song was written out of frustration during an ongoing controversy. The dissolution of Stealers Wheel before his contract with the label ended led to a legal battle that brought him regularly from his Glaswegian home to London where he often stayed with a friend on Baker Street.

Lyrically, the song gives a rather a negative view of London, declaring that “it’s got no soul”, and talks of “crying”, boozing and one-night stands that aren’t doing the song’s subject any good. The pessimistic mood is underlined by what is arguably the most recognizable saxophone riff in modern rock n’ roll and, unarguably, the song’s highlight. The eery woodwind notes impact the ear as the song opens, fill the minor bars between major verses and float ominously over the outro.

baker street

The sultry sax solo’s musician, Raphael Ravenscroft, claimed to have invented the riff on the spot. He was at the studio the day of the “Baker Street” recording to lay down a soprano sax track and decided to get his alto sax from his car to fill the “several gaps” that he heard in the song that an absent session guitarist was meant to fill. “…most of what I played was an old blues riff,” explained Rafferty. “If you’re asking me: ‘Did Gerry hand me a piece of music to play?’ then no, he didn’t.”

But the song’s composer maintained that the riff originated from his musical brain. It wasn’t until a reissue of “Baker Street” in 2011, the year of Rafferty’s death, that the demo for the song was released, a demo that showed that Rafferty had laid down the now-famous sax track with an electric guitar. 

At his death it was reported that Rafferty had earned £80,000 per year in royalties for “Baker Street” since its release. Ravenscroft received a check for £27. And it bounced.

Gin & Winter

37.5ml Makar Glasgow Gin
25ml Pear Liqueur
12.5ml Cinnamon Syrup
25ml Lemon Juice
2 drops Angostura Bitters
1/2 an egg white

Combine all ingredients in shaker and shake firstly without ice. Then add ice to shaker and shake again. Fine strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with fine slices of pear.

Food Match: Braised Venison