HOPE ST’s Ultimate Scottish Gin Guide image

For the few readers who don’t follow our Instagram feed – rude! – it may surprise you to hear that at HOPE ST HQ we’re fond of a gin or four. The aptly named ‘Mother’s Ruin’ due to its affordability and infertility-inducing properties has had a resurgence in recent years and seems to be the preferred tipple of every fashion editor worth their Wangs.

Not only is gin the least calorific, it’s also filled with antioxidants from those glorious juniper berries. Therefore, it’s basically a health drink. Connoisseurs such as ourselves have delighted in a great many, especially from our homeland where gin is considered one of the essential macronutrient food groups. Purveyors of a continual good time, we felt it only right that we compile our ultimate gin guide to not only aid the virgin drinkers among you, but for those who want their night to be filled with the overzealous superiority gin-drinking provides before it quickly erodes into the abyss of mishap, mischief and misdemeanour ending with a police warning for public indecency or an overnight stay in the skip at the dodgy end of Argyle Street. 

1. Hendrick’s – “An oddly made gin by the society of the unusual”. I was once told that only 1% of gin drinkers actually like Hendrick’s. However, infused with rose and cucumber in a remote Scottish distillery (in Girvan), it’s bloody delicious and a definite favourite. Upon carrying out my own statistical analysis, the vast majority agreed – so much for your 1% – even those suspicious few who infuse their gin with ginger ale or, god forbid, cranberry juice.

2. Daffy’s – “The goddess gin”. Emblazoned with the auspicious ‘Daffy’ on the bottle, this tipple intends to visualise taste, charm, sophistication but at 43.4% ‘Daffy’ may as well be a lush or even me. Garnished with lime wedges and a sprig of mint, the ‘D&T’ is delightfully refreshing. Until you’ve tanked 4 and can’t remember who you or Daffy are.

3. Botanist – “Wild. Foraged. Distilled.” One of the more widely loved Scottish gins, and a known favourite among the HOPE ST gin drinkers. This strain from the Hebrides features 22 different botanicals and is one of the only good things to come out of there. Looking through their Instagram for serving suggestions, plant life seems to be a theme; It must be where they get the “foraged” from.

4. Caorunn – “Wildly sophisticated”. As some of you may, or may not remember, this crisp, well-balanced gin provided the fun at the HOPE ST Issue 4 launch party and it’s fabulous aromatic taste has not been forgotten. Served with red apple it’s a sure way to get at least 1 of your 5 a day, no matter how many ‘Buckfast Bombs’ were consumed in equal part. The after-effects on the other hand left most of the establishment perhaps not as well-balanced as the gin.

5. NB Gin – “Unique in its own perfection”. This gin is actually made in North Berwick, hence the NB, I assume. For the non-geographers among you North Berwick is indeed not actually located in Scotland, but it’s close enough and this gin is bloody lovely, therefore it’s on the list. When consulting the serving suggestions, I’m told “straight up over two cubes of ice and you can’t go wrong”. After 5 house measures, I’m inclined to agree.

After much drinking, tasting, testing, drinking, and re-drinking, I can resolutely concur that every one of the above gins are delicious and as previously discussed, definitely nutritious. Each with their own individual flavourings and optimum servings, they certainly beat Gordon’s ‘gin in a tin’ any day. However, I feel that smuggling a cheeky bottle of Caorunn on the train home may be somewhat more troublesome.