Summerhouse Drinks

Ok so as we start to slow down our own events in the run up to end of the year, it’s time to do some reviews and blogs of gin and gin related folks we have worked with in the past year.  
This week we focus on Summerhouse Drinks, a company who’s tonic and other soft drinks we love and enjoy working with.

Summerhouse Drinks is run by Ross and Claire Rennie from their family farm at Peathill near Fraserburgh. Claire runs the day to day business with another two members of staff and Ross, a Chartered Accountant, has responsibility for all things financial. As a small team, they pride themselves on their artisan approach and are committed to producing products that don’t have artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweetners.
Prior to starting Summerhouse Drinks. Claire had started and ran Berry Scrumptious, which specialised in producing fresh chocolate covered strawberries. In early 2014, two flavours of lemonade were launched under the Summerhouse Drinks brand. The lemonade proved so popular that the decision was made to sell the Berry Scrumptious brand to new owners so that Summerhouse Drinks could be given full attention.
By January 2015 there were four flavours in the range: Misty Lemonade, Scottish Raspberry Lemonade, Hint O’ Mint Lemonade and Lavender Lemonade, the latter two made using mint and lavender grown in the walled garden on the farm. The Hint O’ Mint Lemonade was proving to pair particularly well with gin and it was at this discovery that lead the team to develop Scotland’s first tonic water.
After extensive taste testing, ‘Walter Gregor’s Tonic Water’ was launched in April 2015, named after the Victorian minister in the Parish of Pitsligo where Summerhouse Drinks is based. It uses mint grown in Walter Gregor’s former garden as well as a number of other botanicals to give it a light and crisp flavour. As Peathill is located less than half a mile from the sea, it also picks up salty notes which means that it pairs particularly well with coastal gins. 
http://www.summerhousedrinks.com/

Recommended with The Botanist, Isle of Harris Gin, Rock Rose, Shetland Reel, Kirsty’s Gin from Arbikie, Pickering’s 1947, Eden Mill Original, Edinburgh Gin’s Seaside Gin.
We promise we will get them along to a gin club in 2016.
Thanks

Graeme

Gin, Geraldo & Paints

So I know we have already posted a blog on the painting element, but we don’t have any events this month as we are being lazy so we are getting in on the act with other people.

Whats on this weekend and beyond in the Gin World (please someone give us a better word like Ginosphere or something).

Well first of all on Friday the lovely ladies of the Glasgow Paint Club (original title who would ever do the same :)) and us are doing a Gin and Painting event.

The Girls at Paintclub create a lovely relaxed and social atmosphere, where their professional artist will guide you through the evening’s painting.  Last time it was the “painting the Duke of Wellington”, which to my surprise was not a cocktail or a euphemism.  This time it is a Stag, which might look great on your wall.  And of course we at Gin Club will be providing you with four Gins to accompany the night.

You don’t need any experience to take part, I (Graeme) managed it and I am terrible at painting and drawing.  Glass in one hand, and a paintbrush in the other, you might surprise yourself!

Included in the ticket is Four Gins, a canvas (which is yours to keep), paints, paintbrushes, a table easel and instruction from our talented artist.. banter included free of charge! Food and drinks will be available for purchase from the venue.

Tickets at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/let-the-evening-be-gin-friday-11th-november-tickets-28538455288

In Largs Vegas on the 19th Geraldo’s Gin Festival.  

Geraldo’s Gin Fest is taking place in The Brisbane House Hotel, on the seafront of Largs on 19th November from 12 – 6pm.  There will be around 15 gin producers there offering tastings of their various expressions of gin and some will be doing masterclasses for all of the gin professionals out there.  There will be a free gin cocktail on arrival, chocolate tasting, prize draw with more goodies, live music and a stall selling all of the gins featured at the event.

 

Tickets are on sale via eventbrite:

www.geraldosginfest.eventbrite.co.uk

 

it’s being organised by Sugar & Spice a retailer in Largs.  Owner Toni Dawson has been in business since 2000 and has decided to rebrand utilising her award-winning Geraldo’s Ice Cream which will be the new name of the shop hence the festival name.

 

Painting and Drinking

Well what a weekend it was, not only did we do a wee private thing for Vodafone where someone did their best Oliver Twist impression “please sir can I have some more”.  But we have our usual Bi Monthly (now) Gin Club in the Hidden Lane, where we featured Valentia, Minus 33, Bulldog and Colonel Fox Gin.

I got to make my first Facebook live video of Spooky Minus 33 cocktails and Alfonso from Valentia told us all about how your not Valencian unless you have a Rosemary bush or eat Snails🙂

So whats next:

Well we are doing another Gin and Painting night with the girls from The Paint Club Scotland.

Those who don’t know about the event it is essentially a night of painting where you are guided through step by step like Bob Ross in the Joy of Painting “lets get a bit crazy of here”.

The Girls at Paintclub create a lovely relaxed and social atmosphere, where their professional artist will guide you through the evening’s painting.  Last time it was the “painting the Duke of Wellington”, which to my surprise was not a cocktail or a euphemism.  This time it is a Stag, which might look great on your wall.  And of course we at Gin Club will be providing you with four Gins to accompany the night.

You don’t need any experience to take part, I (Graeme) managed it and I am terrible at painting and drawing.  Glass in one hand, and a paintbrush in the other, you might surprise yourself!

included in the ticket is Four Gins, a canvas (which is yours to keep), paints, paintbrushes, a table easel and instruction from our talented artist.. banter included free of charge! Food and drinks will be available for purchase from the venue.

Link to Tickets:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/let-the-evening-be-gin-friday-11th-november-tickets-28538455288

 

 

 

Thanks

 

Graeme

October Gin Club Tasting Guide

Was supposes to do this yesterday, but here is the tasting guide for tonight.

Colonel Fox Cremorne 1859:

Cremorne 1859 was launched in 2012 and is a collaboration between CASK Liquid Marketing, PR guru Antoni Heatley and the artist Charlotte Cory. They wanted to produce a classic London Dry Gin when they came across an intriguing recipe by Colonel Fox.

Using only six core botanicals: juniper, coriander, angelica root, cassia, liquorice and bitter orange peel, they produce classic gins that hark back to Victorian England. The balance between the botanicals in Colonel Fox’s gin is perfect. The juniper is prominent on the palate, closely followed by a zesty, fruity flavour. There is a very traditional kind of sweetness, presumably from the liquorice, that gives it a pleasantly creamy mouthfeel, ending with a focused and peppery finish.

We are serving this as a G&T with Cherries.

Bulldog Gin:

Generally overlooked by gin enthusiasts but it’s worth seeking out and our “star in a reasonable priced car”. The name could be from the year of release 2006 which was the year of the dog, or as their website says it’s a reference to Winston Churchill.

This gin is quadruple-distilled and bottled at 40% ABV.  Bulldog is made up of 12 botanicals, juniper the most noticeable one (it is a gin), lotus leaves, lavender, cinnamon, cardamom, citrus fruits, liquorice, poppy and Dragons eye (I can’t remember them all).

To taste its slightly spicy with the cinnamon, cardamom and citrus leaving you with a warm finish that lingers.

We will be serving this with Pink Grapefruit and a lemon twist

Valentia:

Valentia Gin comes from the Sierra Nevada mountains in Granada, Spain where (I read) the water is known for its exceptional purity.  The Gin is double distilled in small batches in a traditional cooper pot still.  Valentia is made using “Mediterranean botanicals” which are; Juniper (it is a Gin), Angelica, Cardamom, Thyme, Coriander, Rosemary and Valencia citrus fruits.

To taste there is the initial juniper hit but it is like a punch, it’s a level hit, this fades quickly to leave the citrus fruit.  To make it had an orange sherbet flavour.

We are serving Valentia as a G&T, Pink Grapefruit and Rosemary

Minus 33:

Minus 33 is crafted by scientist at the Locabev Laboratory in Rosyth.  Yes this Gin is really made in a lab.  Minus 33 comes in at 33% so technically does not qualify as a London Dry Gin but  It is a Juniper distilled spirit (which is also one of their taglines).

After 3 years and 539 test tubes of experimentation Locabev decided that the optimum strength for a really smooth spirit was 33%.  This also makes it the perfect drink for those on a diet as that makes it just 46 calories per serve.

To taste Minus 33 it is fresh and floral with hints of juniper, citrus, lavender, elderflower and angelica.

Sam is making Halloween themed cocktails.  And G&T’s with Raspberries, Blairgowrie boys need to have Rasps somewhere.

Valentia Gin

So we have been quiet and we can’t even blame seasonal changes to the lack of chatter.

So our first Gin to announce for the October Gin Club (which is in no order might I add) is Valentia

Valentia Gin comes from the Sierra Nevada mountains in Granada, Spain where (I read) the water is known for its exceptional purity.  The Gin is double distilled in small batches in a traditional cooper pot still.  Valentia is made using “Mediterranean botanicals” which are; Juniper (it is a Gin), Angelica, Cardamom, Thyme, Coriander, Rosemary and Valencia citrus fruits.

Valentia is my (Graeme not Stuart) idea of what Gin should be.  By that I mean drinking it should make you feel like you are on holiday.  It should be fresh, fruity and citrusy.  Stuart goes for savoury and I go for sweet, you can probably tell that by looking at both of us, he’s skinny and I am “less skinny”.

To taste Valentia delivers the holiday vibe but not a nasty Spanish holiday (I’m sure that’s a film), like a trip to Benidorm, definitely the good kind which began with a BA flight and not Ryan Air.

To taste there is the initial juniper hit but it is like a punch, it’s a level hit, this fades quickly to leave the citrus fruit.  To make it had an orange sherbet flavour.

We will be serving Valentia with Pink Grapefruit and Rosemary.

Juniper Festival – Take Two

I like how the greatest debate I have in writing most things is weather or not to type like a teenager texting or try and be exact, knowing full well that the dyslexia will creep in at some point.   In this blog it was whether to use the word two or 2.  First word problems (the other problem being my incapable ability at proof reading).

So Juniper Festival has been and gone.  A massive well done to all the organisers and the brands for standing up for hours on end pouring and repeating the same words over and over.

We (me Graeme) went along in a working capacity and dragged my lovely wife along for good measure (still strange saying that).  I should point out that my wife Rachel gets drunk on one drink and hasn’t had a proper drink in three months.

I always forget how long the walk is to the SWG is from the bus route road.  Should have ditched the car tbh.  We arrived, got signed in and heading straight for the first faces we knew.  Edinburgh Gin.  Where we lined our stomachs with all the Gin liqueurs.  And no this was not abuse of power or stealing.  We were furthering our knowledge.  Always great to see the EG folks.  They do have the products down to a tee, luring your in with sugary Gin crack (the liqueurs) then building you up to the Cannonball.


Then we seen the smiling enthused face of Sam from Minus33.  Another one of our regular favs.  We got to catch the end of Sam telling some nice people about how it’s low calorie.  Then he made us two cocktails of the pink variety.  Btw I seem to pick all the effeminate drinks.  We also need to get that recipe off Sam.


Shouldn’t really list all the people we spoke too.  Next was Makar, where we stuck our hands deep in juniper berries.  Then to catch up with Claire from Summerhouse Drinks who deals in the wonderful Walter Gregors Tonic (Walter Macgregor if your a teuchter).


After visiting lots of other gins, like Darnleys, Strathearn, Daffys, No3 London and Sipsmiths.  It was time for our first talk which incidentally was Sipsmiths.  Where we learned some new facts, the swam in Sipsmiths signifies the still and the “Swans neck” at the top.  Straight back out to the floor together more booze.  First stop Pickerings (no Paul), but the main man himself.  The wife is a big fan of Pickerings, me too.  The old recipe (the orange top).


We then met (again) Alfonso from Valentia Gin, we can safely say that he is one of the locusts Gin Reps we’ve ever met.  Going to try sort that Gin for Gin Club as it tastes amazing.

Last talk of the night, hosted by David from Makar.  Good patter from David as always, good to learn about the relationship between Makar and Loch Fyne, also good to taste the cocktail topped with Loch Fyne Salmon.

It’s fair to say that it was a good night with lots of Gin drunk.  There were a few gins we didn’t even get to which we wish we had.

Long walk home where we we’re nearly tempted into the Park bar by some lovely ladies from Ireland and Harris.  We resisted, taxis for Macdonald’s then beans on toast.  In from a Saturday night by 11pm.  Amazing.

Juniper Festival – Glasgow

Its been over a year since we at Gin Club along with Gin Superfan Ger (And Gers mate, who ever he was), attended Juniper Festival in Edinburgh and now it has come around again but this time Solid Liquids have brought the event to Glasgow, our home turf (unless you count Blairgowrie).

Btw I like the awkward photo of Stuart at Juniper Festival

Our first experience of Juniper festival was their first year and ours, even though it only involved Kate and Stuart, I think I was uninvited by the cousins so they can chum out and get drunk without me.  Thankfully though as it was our first year it was where we met 90% of the Gins we would go on and feature that year (lots of those Gins are still in the shed too).

Last year in Edinburgh was my first taster of Juniper festival, but before I delve into it let me go through what Juniper Festival is, in their own words:

“The Glasgow Juniper Festival will be the first outside of Edinburgh and we will have over 30 vareties of Gin from 18 different producers as well as some lovely tonics to try. Our Festivals are set up where once inside you can taste any of the gins on show which are all served up by the people who know them best – the people behind them! If that wasn’t enough we are also taking over the Poetry Club at SWG in which to host talks on Gin related subjects presented by some of our exhibitors.”

What that means you get to wander around the SWG, where 18 lovely Gin Distillers will have a station of their products, you get to wander up learn about the gin, the brand and history then the samples, the glorious tastings of Gin.  Not only that but you can sign up for special masterclasses and tastings.

Event link:

https://www.facebook.com/JuniperEvents/

We only know of a handful of the Gins which are going to be there such as: Caroun, Minus 33 (Sam will be making cocktails no doubt), Strathearn, Daffys, Pickerings, Shetland Reel, Makar, Porters and Sipmsith to name a few.

Gin Club will be heading along on Saturday evening to wander chat and drink Gin.

Tickets available from:

http://www.solid-liquids.co.uk/juniper

 

Thanks

 

Gin Club

 

Piping Live & Gin Club

Right, so, ok, right (as my mother in law says constantly to herself).  Two blogs in one week!  How creative of us, or we have just plagiarised from the website we are about to promote.

As hopefully most of you are aware we are teaming up to host two special events for Piping Live.  What is Piping Live I hear you ask to yourself (assuming you are not a Teuchter or a member of the traditional music fraternity), well dear reader as I send in my work emails, “see below”:

“The spectacular evening is part of this year’s Piping Live! Festival, the world’s biggest week of piping which sees over 50,000 people flock to Glasgow to enjoy over 200 events throughout the city”.
Piping Live! is a week-long celebration of bagpipes and traditional music, taking place between 8 – 14 August.  It brings over 50,000 music fans to Glasgow and sees over 200 events, with over 8,000 performers, take place in various venues across the city.  Each event will showcase the world’s most talented musicians in modern trad music, with this year’s festival being headlined by the globally-famous Red Hot Chilli Pipers (Saturday 13th, O2 ABC).

 

We your Gin facilitating friends will be working with this fine festival on their Summer Sessions. Where we will be hosting two events on Wednesday 10th August at the Piping Centre and the 11th August in the George Square Marquee.  At these events four of the finest Scottish Gins will be there for you to taste  which are; Eden Mill, Pickerings, Shetland Reel and Minus 33.  You also get a mini masterclass, get a full Gin and Tonic but not only that  eat a selection of delicious canapes which will be provided from a variety of specially selected Glasgow restaurants, courtesy of the Glasgow Restaurant Association.

The night will be rounded off with toe-tapping musical performances from some of the best celtic artists from the Piping Live! bill, as well as the opportunity to pipe up and give the bagpipes a go with exclusive come-and-try sessions.

Tickets for Piping Live!’s Summer Session with Glasgow Gin Club are £20 and available now at www.pipinglive.co.uk

Some words of finery about us too:
Roddy MacLeod, festival director of Piping Live!, said: “Piping Live! is famous for bringing the very best talent to Glasgow and this collaboration is no different. The Glasgow Gin Club are renowned for their great events, knowledge and love of gin and I’m excited to have them join us to add a refreshing twist to this year’s festival line up.”

There are load of things happening all over the city for Piping Live, try and get involved.  Most of it, drink, food and of course music related.  If you get the chance head over to the Piping Centre for the tents outside, whiskey galore btw. There is also the Pipers’ Market which includes food trucks by Fire Dog and Bowl Food, supplied by Good Food Glasgow as well as a range of stalls filled by a variety of independent traders. The market will be open from 11am-6pm from Monday 8th to Friday 12th August.

Ungava, Harris, Stirling & New Strathearn

Honestly its been weeks!  Why do we wait so long to update you on the last event.  Well in truth its down the fact that Stuart and I still haven’t adapted ourselves to the adult world.  I still think it’s acceptable to sleep until 12 and play Xbox until 2am.  So when our day time adult lives (Word 2010 assures me that “lives” is right and not “lifes”), become busy we flap and have no idea what to do.  Stuart will also use the excuse that he is “snowed under” with work all because of some music festival he was at working in the portacabin putting wrist bands on people🙂

I didn’t get that nonsense from Kate – Actually she just went AWOL

So we had our last main Gin Club event in June and it was yet again another great night. This was heightened as for once I didn’t have to give up my house to my in laws.  No sacrificing my bed for the living room floor, no getting woken up at 8am with “right”, “ok” and the inevitable conversation through walls my new family do.

Also randomly at the June event we had a late night visit from a bearded Policeman who was escaping down the lane so he go have smoke of his over-sized vapor pipe.  I did get a bit nervous thinking the local constabulary were here to shut us down in some thought that we were a speakeasy serving drink to cake loving citizens.

Anyway, lets focus on the gins.  And in no particular order but lets jump on Gin number 1.  Ungava (the yellow one).

Ungava is a Canadian Gin which takes its name form Ungava Bay, along the Hudson strait. Ungava uses “Nordic Botanicals.” Calling them Nordic Botanicals is a good description as most of the contents of this Gin will be uncommon to the London Dry fans here in the UK

So in Ungava there is; Cloudberry, Wild Rose Hips, Crowberry, Artic Blend (which is quite like Rhododendron), Labrador tea (which is also like Rhododendron) and Juniper (it is a Gin), in this case it’s Nordic Juniper.

Ungava is yellow.  Remember how we discussed the cold infused method used in Bathtub gins where Botanicals go into a large tea bag and steep in the alcohol until infused, well a similar process is employed here.  There is not steam or boiled distillation so the hew of the botanicals remains in the final product.

On the nose its sweet, a hint of lemon zest but a good deal of juniper (it is a gin), same on the taste. We served it as a G&T with Fever Tree, garnished with Grapefruit.  All round Ungava is a great Gin to have in the cabinet (or the shed) its more on the Junipery side so will be for the Gin Lovers but a really unique gin to offer people which are new to the game.  Its Yellow so it stands out.

Next up came from one of our  favorite small distilleries, Strathearn.

I know we bark on and on about them loads, but honestly Tony and the crew really make some of the best Gin’s Scotland has to offer, I don’t think I’ve ever not had a bottle of Heather Rose in the house.

This time thought Strathearn were featuring their new one, Strathearn Juniper.

As its name suggests, our latest gin is strongly juniper-led. A smooth, sweet start switches to a light peppery mouth-feel which is followed by a gentle sherbet finish as the citrus develops towards the end. The balance is achieved by a double distillation, ideal for the ultimate G&T.

A proper Gin for the real Gin lovers, if you don’t like strong gins because of the overwhelming Juniper taste then this might not be the Gin for you.  But if you are like us and love the taste then get buying.

We served it as a Classic G&T with Fever Tree, garnished with Orange Peel.

Harris Gin

As you might of thought this is distilled on the isle of Harris in a wee copper still, known affectionately as ‘The Dottach’.  The spirit is made up of nine specially chosen botanicals which capture the elemental nature of Harris, particularly the maritime influences of the seas.

Juniper, Coriander, Angelica Root, Orris Root, Cubebs, Bitter Orange Peel, Liquorice and Cassia Bark, but it is Sugar kelp which provides Harris with its key seaside flavour. Hand-harvested by a local diver from the deep underwater forests of the Outer Hebrides.

To smell it has a well-defined juniper note with pine needles, to taste it has a good balance between the bitter juniper and pine with the sweet fruit flavours.

It’s fair to say this Gin is selling like mental at the moment, so much so that the distillery is struggling to keep up with demand.  So much so we had to do a trip to the Park bar to steal theirs for the event.  Its a fine product though, really lovely.  And marketed so well.  I think we actually gave away all the empty bottles of the gin.  Hopefully the good spirit company have plenty of stock

We served it as a classic G&T with a lime wedge.  You can buy the seaweed essence to add to the flavour too.

The last Gin on the night (again no order) was Striling.

Before the event I hadn’t tried or read up on Stirling Gin, Stuart was the champion of this one and I soon worked out why.

Stuart and I differ loads, he is tall, with loads of hair, skinny and people like him.  I’m shorter, losing my hair, my once amazing hair is leaving me and people like me less.  Our Gin tastes are different, I like fresh and citrus and he likes the savory herby side of things (which might explain a few things tbh).

Stirling is the only gin to come from Stirling.  It is distilled in Glasgow, as stills are large, expensive and pricey to run.

So whats in it:  Juniper, basil, nettles, angelica root, orange and lemon peel.

To taste there is a firm hit of Juniper, and then a slight peppery to spicy taste, its a very interesting Gin.  If you are in the Good Spirit or other decent place we strongly suggest you give it a try.

Right so whats next.  The August Gin Club is sold out on 12/08.

However we are doing two events on the 10/08 and 11/08 with Piping Live in Glasgow.

Piping Live is the festival for the World Pipe Band Championships where people from all over the world descend on Glasgow.

Throughout the city there will be a whole host of events.

We are holding two Gin events, one on the 10/08 in the Piping Centre

And a larger event on the 11/08 in George Square.

Both will have music and food.

Gins to be feature are:  Pickerings, Eden Mill, Minus 33 and Shetland Reel.

Piping Live! Presents Glasgow Gin Club

Piping Live! 2016 Presents A Summer Session with Glasgow Gin Club

 

Thanks

 

Graeme

 

 

 

Gin Club / Paint Club

So we have another wee sneaky event to launch for June.

We are marrying up with The Paint Club Scotland, to do a joint fun painting and Gin tasting night.

Below is a lovely wee post about the night from Sara the Organiser:

“So some say painting and drinking isn’t a good idea.. we think otherwise. A little liquid courage does’t hurt anybody, especially when it’s Gin.
The Paint Club Scotland is a new concept that encourages everyone and anyone to pick up a paintbrush after a busy day at work and try their hand
at painting along with the help of an artist. We host these evenings to allow people who have had a hard day at work to relax, catch up with friends.. but more
importantly have some fun trying something new.
This concept is big in the states, so we thought why not bring it here, to Scotland, and give it a Scottish twist. The night starts with a drink on us- of course. Don’t worry if you have never painted,
or even thought about painting before, we have you covered. Our wonderful artist will take you step- by- step through the evenings painting (in this case the Duke of Wellington). We provide all of your painting
supplies, canvas and even some brightly coloured aprons.
Over the course of the evening there will be four Gins served (maybe something about the types of Gin here)”
Thanks Folks
Graeme