Gin Bothy is nestled in the historic village of Glamis in Angus, minutes from Glamis castle, and they are home to a wonderful range of uniquely flavoured gins.
For the non-Scots reading this, can you explain what a Bothy is?
A bothy is stone building like a small cottage that, in the highlands of Scotland, are a place of shelter if you get stuck on the hills or the weather changes, free and open to everyone they offer basic shelter, a home in the hills. In the farmlands in the north east of Scotland, a bothy was where single men who worked on the farms lived before they were married.
Can you tell Flavourly readers about Gin Bothy and how it came about?
Gin Bothy was created in a small bothy in the glens of Scotland in Angus. It began in 2014 as a jam bothy and, with the excess fruit and juice from jam making, we began to add to gin and the jam bothy became the Gin Bothy! We follow the same seasonal calendar for our award-winning fruit liqueurs and create a range of full-strength gins including Gunshot, Stirrup Cup and Speycast.
You go foraging for the ingredients in your gin, can you talk us through that and how it impacts your next creation?
Using the seasonal calendar really created our range and we still forage for both botanicals and some fruit. Our gathering calendar starts in April with hedgerow rose, then raspberry, strawberry, rhubarb, blueberry and then sloe berries, and – as seen recently on Countryfile – we have just finished foraging for our gorse flower which we add to a syrup in our Stirrup Cup gin. Gathering first thing in the morning before the sun dries out the oils in the gorse, it has a smell of coconut but in a syrup tastes like almond and it’s natural.
We gather our gin botanicals in our classic Bothy Original locally and heather and Scotspine from one of Scotland’s oldest forests. Our inspiration is from the land and traditional methods, so there is always something we are learning and new creations.
Talk us through the first gin you created?
Our raspberry gin was our first gin created and still our fruity favourite; it’s like raspberry jam and made with 100% Scottish raspberry.
What is your favourite gin in the range and the perfect serve for it?
With 13 Bothy creations, picking a favourite is always tricky but our Gunshot gin is still our most award-winning and perfect neat, on ice or in a hipflask. It always surprises people as it’s a gin you would have after dinner on ice – it’s hand numbered, hand batched – we think this is something special.
Can you tell us about the gin going in this month’s Gin Discovery Club box?
Our gin for this month is Stirrup Cup. Traditionally named after a “parting cup” or shot you have before horse riding or playing golf, at 37.5% ABV we would love you to try it simply on ice first. The sweetness comes from honey added at the end of creation so you could have it neat then add an elderflower tonic or sparkling apple juice for a longer drink.
And lastly, do you have any exciting news you would like to share with Flavourly readers?
Our new look Gin Bothy minis are nearly ready, and we are excited to launch them online soon. If you are every in the north east of Scotland, 18 miles north of Dundee and beside the historic Glamis Castle, please come and visit our Bothy Experience which is open Thursday to Sunday 11-5 and you can gain an insight into the bothy and book a tasting on firstname.lastname@example.org
Interview by Claire MacDonald