It’s a gin grotto and I reckon Santa would be very happy here if he was a Gin drinker (I see him more as a whisky drinker myself!) but the elves definitely hang out here!
It was late October and the Edinburgh Gin Distillery put on its sparkle and celebrated Christmas with the launch of their new Plum and Madagascar Vanilla Liqueur. This latest liqueur is one of a kind and joins their list of other liqueurs of Raspberry, Elderflower and Rhubarb & Ginger.
Edinburgh Gin is an award winning gin that is based in Edinburgh and was started in 2010 by Alex and Jane Nicol. It has just recently been acquired by Ian Macleod Distillers.
I really like the Raspberry Liqueur and have had this over ice or with Prosecco on several occasions so I was delighted to be trying out a new liqueur and also at getting the chance to taste a few of their other famous gins.
The evening started off with a great tour of the very wee gin distillery. I’m impressed at how much they produce in such a small space – approx. 6,000 bottles per week!
Edinburgh Gin produce the following gins:
EDINBURGH GIN (43% ABV) A juniper forward London Dry style gin, given a unique Scottish identity with its carefully balanced blend of 14 botanicals.
CANNONBALL EDINBURGH GIN (57% ABV) Inspired by the famous One O’clock Gun, this navy strength libation has an intense flavour, defined by distinct juniper, citrus and szechuan pepper.
SEASIDE EDINBURGH GIN (43% ABV) Distilled with foraged seaweed, scurvy grass and ground ivy from the Scottish coast, the unique gin boasts a sweet yet refreshing salinity.
CHRISTMAS EDINBURGH GIN (43% ABV) Wise distillers have bestowed this jolly tipple with frankincense and myrrh to add a fragrant aroma, adding a finishing note of nutmeg for genuine yuletide warmth.
After the tour we were treated to 3 gins paired with food. We started off with the Christmas Gin paired with cheese. This was a cave aged gouda canape with some spiced raisin and apple puree and fresh apple which matched the spicy notes of the frankincense and myrrh in the Christmas Gin. These flavours are not at all overpowering and I think this is probably my favourite gin. It’s subtle and light with a real warmth to it. The cheese worked well but I’d happily eat the cheese and drink the gin individually or together. I love both.
Next was the Canonball Gin Martini paired with the Smoked Salmon Tartare Crostini with mini capers, dill and crème fraiche. Wow this gin is aptly named as it would blow your head off! Its super strong, all I could manage was about 2 sips and so you really needed the salmon crostini to balance out the strong alcohol hit.
Lastly we had the Raspberry Liqueur and Prosecco paired with the raspberry liqueur jelly with Elderflower mousse and shortbread. This is the party combo and perfect for a Christmas treat.
Then came the ‘Cocktail – the movie’ moment, when Kyle Jamieson (former manager of The Devils Advocate) poured, shook and twisted up two wonderful cocktails for us to taste and then choose from.
First up was the Soor Ploom (isn’t it beautiful?!). It’s not called the Soor Plum (Ploom) for nothing. It has super sour notes at first with a slight sweetness at the end of the sip. It’s refreshing and definitely will wake up your tastebuds.
Here’s how to make it: 25ml Edinburgh Gin, 25ml Lemon Juice, 25ml Plum and Vanilla Liqueur and 1 Egg White. Dry shake the ingredients together, then shake again with cubed ice. Double strain into rocks glass and serve with a plum wedge.
The second cocktail was the Festive Highball. This cocktail would go down so well at the Christmas Market. Imagine an open fire, roasting chestnuts and snow…… It’s Christmas in a glass!
And here’s how to make it : 40ml Edinburgh Christmas Gin, 15ml Raspberry liqueur, 25ml fresh single cream, 5ml lemon juice, 10ml chai tea syrup (just steep 10 chai teabags for 10 mins, add equal parts sugar and stir until dissolved) and a splash of ginger ale. Dry shake the ingredients together and strain into a highball glass. Top with ice, add a splash of ginger ale and garnish with mint sprig, a raspberry and dust of nutmeg.
We got to choose our favourite cocktail, either the Soor Ploom or the Festive Highball. I went with the Festive Highball.
It was a fun night and I can understand why their Edinburgh Gin tours and tastings at Heads and Tails Bar, Rutland Place, West End are so popular and often sold out. This is a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours in the heart of the city. It would make a wonderful Christmas present as would the miniature bottles of gin available from their shop.
Many thanks to Lux Food and Drink Agency and Edinburgh Gin for the invite. I’m away to make a cocktail!
www.edinburghgindistillery.co.uk Tel : 0131 656 2810