If you are looking for a gift for the gin lover in your life, look no further. Black & White Publishing have it covered with this gorgeous little book by Sean Murphy all about Scottish gin.
Now in my photo above, you’ll see I have a bottle of one of my favourite gins, Isle of Harris Gin, which I think complements the cover of the book rather well. I bought it when touring the distillery there earlier this year – a visit I highly recommend. I am also rather fond of Edinburgh Gin, especially the Seaside edition, and Leith Gin. (And Portobello Road Gin but that one’s from the other Portobello, in London.) Other gins are available though as they say, and my goodness there are plenty to choose from in this book.
The book begins with a bit of history about the production of gin from when it first evolved in Belgium and the Netherlands and was drunk for its medicinal properties – see ,I knew it was good for me! There is a local connection to Edinburgh as it was imported – and often smuggled – into the port of Leith in the 1800s. Whisky remained Scotland’s favourite spirit though and it has only been in the last 20 years or so that gin has soared in popularity here. The author then moves on to talk about the different styles of gin and the many botanicals which can be combined to give each gin its distinctive flavour.
Then we move onto the main event, the 50 Scottish gins which are featured in the book. And these are only some of the many gins produced in Scotland, there are many, many more. For each gin featured, you will find a little about the area where it is produced and the history of its production. There is then a part about the bottle design and the flavours of each particular gin along with the recommended way of serving and which garnish best complements it. Many of the gin bottles are works of art in themselves. And finally, there is a suggested cocktail recipe. For my Harris gin, The Caper Ceilidh is the suggested cocktail. This includes vermouth de Chambery which I think may be lurking in my cupboard somewhere…
I am looking forward to working my way through this book (while drinking in moderation of course!) and enjoying old favourites such Eden Mill from St Andrew’s, The Botanist from Islay, NB Gin from North Berwick and my Isle of Harris gin of course, as well as seeking out less familiar gins like Shetland Reel, Crossbill from Glasgow, Kinrara from Aviemore, Heather Rose from Perth and Vesperis Pictish Gin from Inverurie. Gin Galore would definitely make a great present for any gin lover as I said at the beginning. (If you happen to have a friend called Kirsty, you might want to seek out Arbikie’s Kirsty’s Gin!)
And if you are looking for a little something extra to go with the Gin Galore book, after you’ve bought the lucky recipient their bottle of choice, can I suggest these rather delicious chocolates from Hotel Chocolat. My husband brought them home for me the same day that, unknown to him, my copy of the book arrived. He knows me so well!
My thanks to Alastair Chivers at Black & White Publishing for my copy of the book. It is available now in hardback. You should find it at your usual book retailer or you can order a copy from the publishers’ website here: Gin Galore
From the back of the book
Scottish gin is making some seriously big waves in its corner of the world and beyond. But perhaps you haven’t yet tried Shetland Reel, the Devil’s Staircase or Kirkjuvagr?
Glass in hand, Gin Galore will lead you on a journey to the source of Scotland’s gin in all its botanical, flavourful glory.
With a stellar cast of fifty unique gins, here are the boutique tipples reinvigorating the landscapes of Scottish gin. This utterly refreshing compendium is a treat for fans of all things Scottish and all things gin.
“Inspirational and engaging, a must-read for all gin lovers!”
– THE SCOTTISH GIN SOCIETY
About the author
SEAN MURPHY is a Scottish Gin Awards judge, writes about Scotland’s favourite tipples for the Scotsman and works behind the bar at the world-famous Pot Still in Glasgow. A true gin connoisseur, Sean visited fifty Scottish distilleries to discover each one’s secrets, which he shares in Gin Galore with you.