Piping Live 2017

Right so not the most associated title with Gin and all things Gin related. It is however very apt for associating pipe music and booze, as Pipe Bands and my fellow Teuchters love a good session. (At Glasgow Gin Club we do not promote excessive drinking just the art of social drinking).

So, last year we (Stuart and Me) hosted two Gin Clubs in George Square for Pipping live where we had four lovely gins down to promote themselves to the pipping (open to all) world.

And last year we said this:

“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”

Just in case anyone didn’t know what the event was.

This year Piping live takes place from the 7th -13th August and we will be running two events, the first on Wednesday 9th from 5pm at the National Piping Centre, where there will be four of the finest Gins there to let to drink their wares and buy things, along with food and all the other great things happening in the Piping Centre that evening.


The second event takes place on the 11th, again in the National Piping Centre from 6pm.


Tickets are £15.

We would love to see you all there.


The Misogyny of Cocktails

Well what a dramatic title for what it is, but I had some explaining to do when I was using someone else’s words to describe the taste on the palate for certain drinks then flowing into a wee brief history of the Savoy Cocktail Book, created by the legendary Harry Craddock back in 1920 based on the recipes of the American Bar in the Savoy in London.

Anyway the reason why I even bring this topic up in conversation is I continually defending the terminology of certain tastes of drinks. Two things, I often hear “its a masculine Gin”, “its a mans cocktail”. Which I use too, but every time i use said terminology I need caveat it with an explanation of why and how terrible using male or masculine are used.

basically back in the olden days of cocktails and before the 80-90s club scene boom, cocktails were comprised of layers of alcohol to create the flavors, with only a few (well in my mind) having fruity mixers or syrups. And I believe this strong taste was mainly for men like Frank Sinatra and hence they were called Masculine. On the other hand the original lady-esque cocktails like the classic Gin Fizz had lemon juice, sugar syrup etc in it, making it taste better and this was classed as a ladys drink.

Whenever I explain this to people I need to caveat this with “I don’t like this gentrification of classifications of drinks.

Then when describing spirits often people say “its a masculine Gin” which means it has a strong distinct flavor, yet there is no yin to this yang, no one ever says “that’s a feminine Gin”.

Again I disagree with this.

Anyway, this all came about when I was explaining these descriptions while working for Sam Minus 33 at a Gin event in Dundee, where I was creating Raspberry Gin Fizzes (I think that’s the plural of fizz).

And if anyone wants to know the Raspberry Gin Fizz is very feminine and contains:

In a cocktail Shaker
50ml shot of a good cocktail Gin, like Minus 33 or No.3 London (Stay away from Juniper focused Gins)
50ml shot of lemon juice or syrup
25ml of Agave syrup
hand full of ice
Hand full of Raspberries (must be Blairgowrie or Alyth Rasps) in the shaker
Top cap (pint glass) on.
Shake (but don’t shake like a twat), keep shaking until the outside gets a good lair on condensation.
Strain twice to remove the bits of berry.
Into a flute, pour half with mixture then top up with Soda, Tonic or Prosecco. Garnish with a frozen raspberry.



Juniper festival Glasgow

We are not one to promote other people’s events but Martin at Solid Liquids launched Juniper Fest at the same time as our “joke that went too far” was born (I’ll get drunk and say he stole said idea, but that’s lies).

Juniper Festival is one of the great spirit events in the country and one of the originals.  Our market in Gin Events is getting some what saturated with a Gin thing here and another thing there with folk wanting to cash in on the juniper pound.  But Juniper Festival was there at the start.  

Last week I got more mixed up than Britney Spears at the Edinburgh event while I worked for a popular soft drinks brand (look at us going all BBC Radio). I was sampling every Gin and mixing them with all the products at my disposal, it was essentially the table to be.  

You really do get to taste and learn as much or as little as you like at Juniper Festival.  Also without sounding too scummy it’s one of the cheapest nights out you can have 

The Glasgow event is happening from 9 to 10 June from 5pm to 10pm at the SWG3 venue in Eastvale Place. Which is divided into various sessions on Saturday and Sunday. 

Tickets are on sale priced from £21.50 and can be purchased http://www.solid-liquids.co.uk/juniper-gin-festival
Or there are tickets at the door.

We will be there drinking and chatting. Stealing more drink that we are allowed.

Malawi Gin Club

See every time I go write something these days I always start with “sorry for the lateness”, It feels as though it has been an age since writing a blog post for Gin Club and our May event is this week too. So there will be a few Blogs.

In March I was emailed by a rather tenacious lady called Catherine about helping her with an “event” for her dentist trip to Malawi and for some reason despite my potty mouth and general grumpy demeanor I’m a complete sap and said “of course, anything”. So I took it upon myself to organise a Gin Club specially for her.

She emailed most weeks, nervous that I wasn’t being forthcoming with the planning information and all I would say back is “Don’t worry it will be sorted”. I’m pretty sure this lazy management style doesn’t suit her, but she went along with it.

So on the 5th of May we had our Gin Club, featuring Eden Mill, Edinburgh Gin and Minus 33 and we raised over £2k.

Now at this point I will use Catherine’s own words (Probably her husbands though) to describe what the event was for.

Smileawi is a Scottish Dental charity based in Dunoon set up by Nigel and Vicki Milne. Catherine and 2 members of her team (Kate Steele and Caroline Turner) from Belhaven Dental Surgery in Port Glasgow will travel to Malawi this September with other volunteers. The aim is to provide dental care for approximately 2 weeks in the northern areas of Malawi where there is no access to any dental care. The charity relies on qualified dentists, dental therapists and dental nurses to volunteer their time and skills by travelling to Malawi to help the locals with their teeth. All volunteers are completely self- funded with trips normally lasting 16 days and costing approx. £1500 per volunteer. For me, this is big deal and something Catherine has wanted to help with since hearing about the charity a few years ago.

Smileawi website – http://smileawi.com/.

Right and now on to my own plugging.

May Gin Club for those not going to Malawi or helping raise money, we are back in the Hidden Lane on the 26th May.


BTW there is still a link for TicketWeb saying we have no events. Hopefully that doesnt confuse folks.



A long session 

A couple of things to keep you updated!  First we had a gin club the other week and it’s was so hot we decided to do it outside in the lane.  Secondly I helped out at the Edinburgh Juniper Festival and it got out of hand.

So on the 26th May we had our second main Gin Club of 2017.  With mixed emotions the Gin world is getting really busy, events all over the place (not bad news for Gin Lovers tbh) but for us we thought we would Buck the trend and do less.  Btw we are taking full credit for being the first event of its type in Scotland.  

A rather nice Gin Club in May though, it was sunny enough to be outside the whole night.  Which is a good thing as being inside the Tea Room on a sunny day is tough, hot ovens and a roof that absorbs heats causes sweaty drinkers.  In May we featured Darnleys View, an old favourite of ours. We also had Larios Rose, one of Spain’s most popular Gins, East London Gin and an old favourite of my teenage years, Xoriguer Mahon Gin.  I’ll post full blogs on all the gins and how we served them too.

This weekend was the Edinburgh Juniper Festival.  If you don’t know what it is, it’s essentially what we do but way bigger.  And a lot of gins, it’s pretty much the cheapest way to drink lots of amazing drink over an afternoon or evening. 

So me (Graeme) was tasked with helping out our old friend Ru from Fentimens (formerly Rock Rose), providing tastings on all the mixers they do.  The best bit about it was that I had a bottle of every gin in the place to mix it with.  It did mean explaining to people I couldn’t just let you try the gin you needed to have the mixer first.  Stupidly I also decided that I would start sampling these gins (not that I hadn’t before) from 12pm.  

The mix of sugar and lots of Gin made me a bit bold.  I think at one point I said a woman laughed like Chick Young, I accused a brother and sister of incest, accidentally of course.  Don’t worry I was lovely too.  Even to the ladies that didn’t like the most amazing commotion of Gin and Mixer ever which is Brockmans and the Fentimens Pink Grapefruit Tonic.  

I think that combo sent me on the fabled path of destruction.. Which ended at 4am.  Along the way some other Brand reps spilt two of my pints, one gin, I smashed a pint.  Shared some of the bottles I had carried with me and oh missed a few trains.

This weekend might be a repeat! Juniper festival Glasgow is on.  I’m helping at another event in Dundee for Minus 33.

Feb Gin Club, Scotland vs Wales

Alright Gin Clubbers, so we were actively told last Friday at Gin Club “your website is out of date”.

We know.  That’s what happens when one of you decides to move to Broughty Ferry of all places.

So first on behalf of my Gin Life Partner (Stuart) thanks for coming to all of you that turned up to our February event, some apologies from me; yes there were no booklets that was my fault and secondly to the two Irish girls at the bottom of the stairs, Stuart’s pouring is more reserved than mine, I was coming back.

Thanks also to the girl (from Gin Club) on the train who confused the old man sitting next to me by saying “thanks for last night” when leaving, making people look at me in confusion thinking “Maybe he isn’t gay”.

Right so we kicked of 2017 with a Scottish vs Wales theme, in time for the rugby (which was completely meant and not a coincidence at all).

First up and again this is in no order of importance we had:

Misty Isle Gin

Misty Isle Gin has been “a long time in the making” says brothers Alistair and Thomas Wilson. “It’s become something of a passion. From our family home in Portree on the Isle of Skye, we have created a spirit which we are proud to call our own. Distilling this beautiful craft gin anywhere else but here on Skye was never in question. Provenance is everything – that abiding sense of belonging and community. Over time, we have perfected our recipe; a marriage of crystal clear spring waters from the Storr Lochs and the right balance of the finest botanicals”.

Misty Isle is produced in Portree (for those Glasgow folk, Portree is the main town in Skye), at the Isle of Skye Distillery.  The original name of the Gin was meant to be Isle of Skye Gin however they changed it in 2016 to Misty Isle.

The actual Gin itself was launched in February 2017 (see we bring you the newest Gin), to make Misty Isle, Alistair and Thomas use hand foraged Juniper from various wild locations around Skye and slowly distill it in a copper still, then vapor infused the botanicals some of which are coriander, angelica and lemon; We can get the full list if you want 🙂

To taste Misty Isle is smooth, you get the initial hit of Juniper (it is a Gin), then citrus and licorice (well I certainly did).  We choose to serve it with a sprig of Thyme and Fever Tree tonic.

Misty Isle is made with love and you can tell.


Wild Island Gin

Sorry for thinking there is an island theme, there is but it wasn’t intentional.

Created by the folks at Colonsay Brewery, this small batch gin takes its design inspiration from the colours and contours of the island’s beautiful Kiloran Bay, and takes its flavour inspiration from the wild botanicals that grow on Colonsay. For those of you who dont know, Colonsay, an island of only 120 inhabitants, is located more than two hours by boat of the Scottish mainland.

Wild Island Gin is made up of 16 botanicals 10 of which are base botanicals with a further 6 make of hand-foraged island botanicals, botanicals which we have been able to identify are; lemon balm, meadowsweet, wild water mint, heather flowers, bog myrtle and sea buckthorn.

Colonsay Brewery purposefully opted for a gin base which was heavier on lemon than other gins which translates the Colonsay lemon balm aroma and you can really taste this, sometimes the Citrus flavor makes you feel like your not drinking.

To Taste Wild Island is summer holiday in a glass, its fresh and zesty with the Lemon coming through, there is Juniper there but its not the usual punch in the throat you get.  You might be tricked into thinking you weren’t drinking Gin.

We added to this by serving Wild Island with a Lemon Slice and Mint, and this just further added to the feeling of being on holiday.



Kirkjuvagr Gin

Furthering or little Island hoping adventure Kirkjuvagr Gin, pronounced ‘kirk-u-vaar’, is made on Orkney by residents Stephen and Aly Kemp in 2016. Kirkjuvagr means ‘Church in the Bay’ in old Norse which is what the Vikings described Orkney’s capital, Kirkwall (see you can see it now). You should all try and say it with an Orkney accent, it makes it more fun.

The gin is hand crafted in small batches using traditional copper stills, for the botanicals alongside the Juniper there is a wee tale about a local legend that spoke of a variety of Angelica brought to the islands by Norsemen centuries ago, which can still be found growing wild today and is one of Kirkjuvagr defining ingredients, including a host of local botanicals; Ramanas Rose, Burnet Rose and Borage. Uniquely and traditional Orkney bere barley in our recipe.

We serve Kirkjuvagr with Orange Peel and Fever Tree (we some how managed to go through three bottles of it too despite only going through two of others). To taste the Gin is well balanced  between the sweet and herby, the organe peel bringing out the citrus.and some people were saying there was a sherbert-y taste while others found a peppery taste.

We loved this, and again somehow managed to go through three bottles.

Also they have a Kirkjuvar pouring tap, which we should have requested.


Cardiff Gin

If only Cardiff Gin was an ironically name Gin for something which was actually made on a Scottish Isle then we would be laughing with our well sculpted theme.  I’ll come clean there was no theme, we just get what we want to drink.  Luckily though Scotland were playing Wales the next day so there’s our them, boom.

Launched at Cardiff Gin Festival in 2015, the gin started its life after a public call on social media, where they got hundreds of responses to what people wanted to see in their own gin. After weeks of submissions and trawling through recipe ideas they created samples of three gins, which were reviewed by some expert-y type people (Btw we didnt get bloody asked). Then we stuck with the one we have now and launch 150 bottles at the Gin Festival

The Gin has no citrus fruit and is dry like a Gin should be, to smell you really get Aniseed or Licorice this we presume comes from the use of Rosemary and Sorrel which is then combined with Caraway and Fennel seeds.  You would think you get the Citrus from the Sorrel but you don’t.  Obviously as its a Gin there is Juniper which is home grown we have believe, there is also Lemongrass and Verbena (we think)

To smell you could be confused with drinking a Pastis, obviously nothing as strong as that. The Ginny smell doesn’t come through until the taste.  Everything changes when you add the tonic, the strength of the licorice notes soften and then you know your drinking a Gin.  We served it with Cucumber to see if it would smooth the drink out, which it did.

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. 

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.


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:



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:








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 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.