Scottish Gin Club - McLean's Citrus Gin - July 2020

We're excited to present to you this month a summer seasonal that should delight any classic G&T lover. McLean's Citrus Gin is our July Gin of the Month.

Citrus Gin Key Facts

Launched: November 2017
ABV: 37.5%
Location: Strathaven, South Lanarkshire

McLean's Citrus Gin

The McLean's Gin Story

McLean's Gin started life in inconspicuous surroundings - a cupboard off the living room in a one bedroom flat in the southside of Glasgow to be precise! It was back in 2015 that Colin McLean received a 'make your own' gin kit as a Christmas gift from his future in-laws. The kit sat in the cupboard until 12th February when Colin suddenly realised he had not arranged a present for his fiancee Jess for Valentine's Day. Two days later Jess awoke to a gift that tasted great (to the surprise of both Colin & Jess!). This piqued Colin's interest in home brewing once more having previously dabbled in wine and beer.

Fast forward 10 months to Christmas 2016 when Colin & Jess' closest family received kilner bottles of what is now known as McLean's Signature Gin. The gin proved so popular that the family were adamant that Colin should look to sell it.    

September 2017 saw the first bottles of McLean's Gin hit shelves in independent shops. Shortly after the Signature Gin was joined by the Floral expression. These were the first two gins we listed in our bottle shop when we launched in October 2017. 

At the time, with batches consisting of 8 bottles being produced in the 'gin cupboard', McLean's was amongst the smallest commercial gin operations in Europe. The range grew and soon there were 6 expressions; Signature, Floral, Cherry Bakewell, Spiced, Citrus and Something Blue. 

The McLean's Gin Cupboard

Something Blue was developed to celebrate Colin & Jess' wedding in June 2018. The gin marries their two favourite botanicals (Buchu Leaf and Tonka Beans) with butterfly pea flowers providing the blue colour. It was after the wedding that Colin & Jess moved from the flat in Glasgow to Strathaven, a town around 25 miles from Glasgow city centre. This move allowed McLean's Gin to be rehomed to a 'gin lab' or ginnery in the new house.

It was at this time that Colin decided to introduce the Core Range (Signature, Something Blue and Cherry Bakewell) and make the others available on a seasonal basis. Floral is the spring & early summer gin, Citrus is summer and early autumn and Spiced is perfect for late autumn and winter.  

Cold Compounding

The 'gin lab' is not technically a distillery, as McLean’s gin is produced using the cold compound method. Compound gin involve flavourings (botanicals) being added to neutral grain spirit and then filtered out before bottling.

Compounding has been a popular gin production method since the 17th century and is now sometimes known as bathtub gin. 

However, the 'gin lab’, provides ample space and opportunity for the team at McLean’s Gin to experiment with new flavours and the development of new products.

McLean's Citrus Gin

A delightfully refreshing gin, McLean's Citrus is bursting with bold citrus flavour from botanicals including orange, lemon and Makrut. 

The piquant citrus combination is then combined with 6 other botanicals including spicy tellicherry peppercorns and rosemary.

It's a perfect balance of sweet and tart citrus with a savoury finish of rosemary and bay. This is the most traditional of the McLean's range and should delight any gin lover.

McLean's Citrus Gin & Tonic Serve

Serving Suggestions

The Citrus Gin is versatile and it mixes really well with a number of different tonics. We think it works really well with a classic Indian or the Mediterranean tonic.

In terms of a garnish, we recommend anything fruity! The peel of a citrus fruit such as lime, lemon or orange works well. In the picture above we've garnished it with fresh mango and dill.

If you're a cocktail lover then you've got to try the Blood Orange Negroni. The recipe is below.

25ml McLean's Citrus
25ml Aperol
25ml Vermouth Rosso

Shake or stir before pouring over ice. Top with Fever-Tree Blood Orange Soda and garnish with an orange slice.