Scottish gin is undergoing a massive revival at the moment. Long gone are the days when a Gin and Tonic was made with one British brand only. Small craft distilleries are on the rise in Scotland – 48 at the last count and many in Edinburgh.
When we started thinking about a bespoke gin for Colonnades at Signet Library, we naturally thought of Edinburgh Gin who we’ve enjoyed working closely with before. We also love the fact that you can easily visit their distillery just off Shandwick Place and see the very still that our gin was made in!
With the Colonnades now renowned for its fabulous food, we thought very carefully about how the gin would enhance the flavours in our sweet and savoury dishes. We’re also a dab hand at cocktails, how could a bespoke gin make our cocktails unique?
The answer seemed to be obvious, flavour the gin with tea.
We created small batches of gin with a number of different teas and tried them out on bloggers attending a launch event. Ginger Chai, Rooibos and Earl Grey were firm favourites. We soon excluded Lapsang Souchong which was pronounced too strong for the gin. How could we make a final choice? In a moment of inspiration, the head distiller then suggested tried blending the Ginger Chai and Rooibos. This proved to be a perfect combination.
Our first batch of 180 bottles was distilled in one of the two Edinburgh Gin stills “Caledonia” using Edinburgh gin’s botanicals and the tea. Just how do you get the tea flavour into the gin? The flavours need to be subtle, so the tea is put into an infusion bag (like a large tea bag) and suspended in the still during the distilling process for the flavours to develop for just the right amount of time. When the gin is in vapour form it absorbs the flavours of the tea.
The result is a fabulous gin full of subtle flavours. The tonic is important too of course, we pair the gin Summerhouse Drinks tonics which are brewed in Scotland.
The new Signet Gin is only available at Colonnades or for events held in the Signet Library. We’re creating some wonderful cocktails and you’ll also discover our gin infused smoked salmon.
To experience the new gin, book using the online booking system displayed on the right or call us on 0131 226 1064.
Opening hours: Sunday to Friday 11am to 8pm. Last sitting for Afternoon Tea 6 pm. (Closed Saturdays). Advance reservations are recommended.