Fidra is more than an island

It is also the name of the latest gin from East Lothian to hit our shelves, so we went to find out more from co-founder Jo Brydie.

Inspired by the stunning landscape that surrounds them, and their love of gin, Emma Bouglet and Jo Brydie started experimenting with their gin recipe in 2017 on a 5 litre still in Emma’s kitchen. They both come from quite diverse professional backgrounds but making their own gin has ignited a passion in the two friends.

The gin is strongly influenced by its surroundings – featuring locally foraged botanicals from the seashore and a slim, elegant eco-bottle that is reflective of the Stevenson lighthouse on the island. This keeps the gin very environmentally friendly.

After experimenting with locally grown botanicals – rosehip, sea buckthorn, elderflower, lemon thyme and thyme (both varieties of thyme grown in Jo’s back garden and the Archerfield Walled Garden), they found the perfect recipe. Serendipity at the 2017 Scottish Gin Awards led them to find a distiller to make it on their behalf. Jo is very hands-on with the still and learning the skills that are necessary to distil gin. There are plans in place to move full production down to East Lothian early 2019 and the hunt is on for the right location.

The first batch is already sold out, with batch number two ready for Christmas. If you are local to East Lothian, you’ll find Fidra Gin at numerous local food and drink fairs from November through to December. Alternatively, the website is now live and you can order a bottle direct.

Jo kindly gave us some lemon thyme from her garden to garnish the gin. Suggested serve – keep it simple: premium tonic (Jo prefers a light one), a slice of lemon and if you can get your hands on it, a sprig of lemon thyme.

On the nose: juniper led, with floral notes

On the palate: sweetness, possibly from the sea buckthorn, gives way to a hint of salinity

On the finish: refreshing, smooth and dry.

Please drink gin responsibly.

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