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.