Below is an excerpt from the August 2015 edition of GINNED! Magazine about Rock Rose Gin and the Dunnet Bay Distillery. Every month, Craft Gin Club Members receive a bottle of amazing small-batch gins and gin complements accompanied by GINNED! Magazine which is full of information about the gin, the distillery and loads of fascinating features.
On the newly created North Coast 500 (NC 500) route around the North Highlands peninsula, occasionally you’ll find motorists and cyclists participating in charity events run by the North Highlands Foundation. The Foundation also plans to invite motorcyclists to these events, many of whom are part of members clubs, clubs we often associate with thrilling stories drawn up by Hollywood screenwriters destined for the wide eyes of the popcorn-popping public. But biker gangs - and the violence that accompanies them - are very real and their ferocity very recent.
In May this year, a brawl between three rival gangs convening for peace talks in a Texas diner garnered international media coverage after a gun fight broke out leaving 9 dead, 18 hospitalised, 170 bikers arrested and over 100 weapons seized by authorities, a scene not uncommon in contemporary American history. After World War II, military veterans returning to a post-war US sought the camaraderie and adrenaline rush they experienced during the war, finding the rush in motorbike riding and the camaraderie in the clubs they formed.
Most bike clubs were then and are today populated by legitimate bike enthusiasts gathering merely to roar down an open road such as the NC 500 together. But a small portion have transformed the protective status they enjoy as a club into a cover for organised crime.
The bikers of this portion proudly call themselves the “one-percenters”, a term adopted from an apparently non-existent quote by the American Motorcyclist Association that declared 99% of bikers as upstanding citizens. Today, the FBI reckons that approximately 2.5% of all of the America’s gang members come from motorcycle clubs who fund themselves through illegal activities including the three gangs involved in the above-mentioned shootout and the most widely known OMG, the Hells Angels whose earnings from its over 400 chapters in over 40 countries are estimated in the billions.
With such enormous amounts of money being made from selling drugs, prostitution, arms smuggling and the like, it’s no wonder that turf wars erupt, including in Europe where the “Great Nordic Biker War” raged throughout the 1980s and 90s between the Hells Angels and rival gangs that resulted in eleven assassinations and 74 attempted assassinations.
However, not all is bikes and blood when it comes to OMGs. In fact, they have more in common with the NC 500 events than you would think. The clubs frequently donate to and raise money for charities, activities that the Hells Angels contrast with their popular reputation with the saying, “When we do right nobody remembers, when we do wrong nobody forgets.” Perhaps the Blue Angels, Europe’s oldest and Glasgow-based one-percenter MC, will show up to ride the stunning road after handing the NC 500 a big biker banknote
Rock Rose Lavender Elderflower Champagne Cocktail
- 25 ml of Rock Rose CGC Distiller’s Edition
- 25 ml of Lavender Simple Syrup
- 25 ml of St. Germain
- Topped up with Champagne or sparkling wine
- 1 fresh sprig of lavender with flower to garnish
Method: Mix the lavender syrup, gin and St. Germain in a champagne flute and top up with Champagne. Garnish with a sprig of fresh lavender.