Top 10 Facts About (Scottish) Gin

Here in Scotland we have a proud history of producing quality spirits. For many years Scotland has been synonymous with whisky and while our whisky is still second to none, over the past few years we've seen the dramatic emergence of Scottish Gin as a category in its own right.

Take a look at our top facts about gin (and Scottish gin) that will impress even the most knowledgeable gin connoisseur!

1. The name gin is a shortened form of genever which is derived from juniperus, the Latin name for the juniper berry

2. Juniper berries are not actually a berry, they are a fleshy seed cone. Aside from use in gin production, juniper berries are commonly used as a spice in European cuisine.

Juniper Berries

3. The mass appeal of gin dates back to the 17th century when the Dutch used it as a medicine. However, the earliest known mention of gin dates back to the 13th century

4. Gin first came to Scotland in the 1700s when it was traded at the Port of Leith in Edinburgh

5. In 2018 a record breaking 73 million bottles of gin were bought across the on and off-trade. Although commonly associated with England, Scotland produces over 70% of the gin produced in the UK

6. In 2017 people in Edinburgh drank more gin per head than in any other city in the UK

7. McLean's Gin started life in a 1.5m sq cupboard in a one bedroom tenement flat in the southside of Glasgow. At the time they were (probably) the smallest commercial gin producer in the UK. However, having moved house in 2018, McLean's now produce in a purpose built ginnery. 

McLean's Gin 'Gin Lab'McLean's 'Gin Lab'. Photo Credit: Robert Perry, Evening Times

8. Alongside the growing number of small-batch craft gin producers, 3 of the world's best selling gin brands are made in Scotland - Gordon's, Hendrick's and Tanqueray

9. To be classed as gin, the predominant flavour of must be juniper but there are no other regulations around the other botanicals used, the possibilities are endless. The Botanist is made using a total of 31 botanicals, 22 of them are foraged on Islay and Crossbill is made using only juniper and one other botanical - rosehip, both handpicked in The Highlands!

Crossbill Gin

10. There are now approximately 300 Scottish gins made by over 100 different brands. The numbers just keep on growing!

Check out our growing range of Scottish Craft Gins >