I have been going to the Secret Herb Garden since it opened three and half years’ ago (Old Pentland), as I love what they are doing in what was once an unloved plot of land. Their love of plants, flowers, fruit and even weeds is apparent in everything they do.
The Old Curiosity Distillery is now part of the Secret Herb Garden, and was the brain child of Hamish Martin (owner and herbologist) with Steve Ross. Together they have produced a range of gins that embody the magical properties of nature, that they have grown, picked, dried, and infused by hand and are 100% natural.
I got a tour in advance of the launch, and was shown everything from the drying room to the fields that will be growing all their own juniper, angelica and other core/base gin botanicals. All the flowers that are grown are edible, and they have Europe’s largest crop, if that’s the right word of apothecary rose
So, to the launch at The Scottish Restaurant on Thursday 28 September. You can only imagine my excitement at trying this unique and quite special gin. Hamish has a background in wine, so the tasting element was led by his knowledge and overflowing enthusiasm.
We tasted 5 expressions – neat; then we added tonic to make the colours come alive, (using Bon Accord tonic, which complements them so well); then with food pairing, which really changed the complexion of the gins; and finally, as we liked it, with ice and minimal natural garnish. Each stage of tasting excited the palette, and the taste profile is so natural and unadulterated.
It’s super exciting to have a range of gins that are full of ingredients grown and nurtured through their absolute love of nature.
The 3 core gins:
Lavender & Echinacea
Infuse the restorative qualities of Lavender with the medicinal powers of Echinacea, and breathe. If ever a gin could heal the soul it would be this.
Used in tinctures and tonics from eras gone by, the Apothecary Rose is subtle in fragrance and naturally floral in flavour. A romantic companion to our perfectly distilled gin.
Chamomile and Cornflour
An infusion of pure cornflower pigments, naturally a vivid blue, and the subtle notes of the chamomile flower. A calming tincture that embodies the magic of nature.
Brand Ambassador, The Scottish Gin Society
Photos by Don Alexander Lumsden