Gin & Tonic go together like salt & pepper or bread & butter. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that with the growing number of Scottish gins hitting the market in recent years we’ve also seen the emergence of Scottish tonic waters.
Much like the introduction of gin into the United Kingdom, the credit must go to the military for the development of tonic water. A key ingredient in most tonic waters is quinine which is derived from the bark of the cinchona tree. Distinctively bitter, quinine was prescribed to control the risk of malaria. In order to improve the taste of the bitter medicine, it was mixed with soda water, sugar and, crucially, gin. So, the refreshingly delicious drink we know today was originally invented for medicinal purposes!
Find out more below about Scotland’s take on the world’s favourite partner for gin.
Hailing from Aberdeenshire and made by Claire Rennie and the team behind Summerhouse Drinks, Walter Gregor’s Tonic was the first Scottish tonic water.
Since launching with a classic tonic, the range has grown to include a variety of tonics with flavours including Scottish Rapsberry, Mint & Cucumber, Apple & Cinnamon and Spiced.
The inspiration for the name of the brand came from a 19th century minister who served the historic parish of Pitsligo on the Aberdeenshire coast by order of Queen Victoria. Gregor was a keen plantsman and spent a lot of time tending to the walled garden in his former manse in Peathill. The Rennie family purchased the manse and garden in the 1960s and Claire decided to make tonics using the walled garden to grow the botanicals as a testimony to Walter and his love for botanicals.
In addition to complementing the variety of Scottish gins, the Walter Gregor’s range of flavoured tonics also pair exceptionally well with other spirits including vodka, eau de vie and even whisky.
Photo Credit: The Gin Cooperative
Cushiedoos (pronounced coo-she-doos) is a premium tonic water which is made in small batches using the purest spring water from the Cairngorm National Park and locally sourced Scottish botanicals including heather and silver birch.
Cushiedoos is unique as it does not use the traditional quinine as a bittering agent but instead uses yellow gentian and wormwood. This makes for a naturally lighter tonic that does not dry your palate in the way some classic tonic water will.
We’ve found that Cushiedoos is great with a number of gins and is perfect for anyone who claims not to like traditional tonic water.
The inspiration for Cushiesdoos came when Andrew Ligertwood (the founder) was on a romantic break in the Scottish Highlands with his wife Gillian. Everything on the drinks menu was Scottish except for the tonic which was paired with the array of Scottish gins. From that moment on Andrew knew he wanted to create a Scottish tonic. The name comes from the noise the wood pigeons make in the trees above Andrew & Gilly’s garden in Edinburgh.
Wood pigeons partner for life, just like gin and tonic!
Just a no-nonsense Scottish tonic water that’s clean, crisp and allows the gin to sing!
Lovingly handcrafted on the banks of the River Clyde outside Glasgow, Just the Tonic is made with no eccentric chemists, no foraged botanicals and no obscure garnishes!
The focus has been to make a great tonic that allow the flavour of the gin to shine through.