A perfect pairing – Rock Rose

The season of love is here and at The Scottish Gin Society, we are (as always), feeling the love for all the wonderful Scottish Gin brands out there. We are always in awe of the fact that a large number of the gin brands in Scotland have actually been set up by couples, here at Scottish Gin HQ, we’re not sure how well we’d get on working with our other halves every day…

So, in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, we’re running features on some of the great couples of Scottish Gin and finding out a little bit more about how they work as a team.

We spoke to Martin Murray of Dunnet Bay Distillers, makers of the fantastic range of Rock Rose Gins. Back in August 2014, husband and wife team, Martin and his wife Claire founded Dunnet Bay Distillery at the spectacular bay of Dunnet in the far North of Scotland.  

The couple are passionate about handcrafting spirits that celebrate the heritage and provenance of their home county of Caithness and pride themselves on using local hand-foraged botanicals alongside exotic botanicals from around the world.

We love that even the famous Rock Rose Perfect Serve of rosemary and orange peel was a collaboration – Martin preferring Rosemary and Claire preferring a twist of orange. Together, they really work!

· How did you meet?

It was the last day of high school and we met at a party celebrating it.  We were in the same year at high school, but our paths hadn’t crossed until that day.  That was nearly 20 years ago and I can’t think where the time has gone since then!

· How did you begin your Scottish Gin journey together?

I don’t know when the actual Scottish Gin journey seed was planted.  I think we’d decided a long time ago that we had complementary skills and that working together might be fun.

We started dreaming of a distillery when I was worked offshore on the Elgin platform, around 2009.  It took a long time and lots of planning, but we got there and we are delighted with how the journey is going.

· What’s the best thing about working together?

We can approve each other’s leave requests! I think the best thing is seeing something that we both put our heart into working out well. When we started planning Rock Rose, Claire was in charge of the design of the bottle and I worked on the recipe development.  It was great seeing the positive feedback on both and how it has grown since.

· What do you like to do together when you’re not working?

We love our time with the children and try to get outdoors as much as possible.  Our favourite places are the beach and forest in Dunnet – both a short walk from the distillery and our home.  We love taking a flask of hot chocolate and stopping halfway on the walk for a mini picnic and warm up!

· Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day?

Not yet – we are quite last minute at these things.  Perhaps a trip to the Captains Galley at Scrabster would be a nice treat as it has some of the best seafood around.

Martin, Claire and the team would be delighted to welcome you to Dunnet Bay on a wee tour to explore the distillery and discover the spirits! Learn more about the spirits, the botanicals, Elizabeth and Margaret – the fabulously shiny stills and of course, enjoy a delicious Rock Rose gin & tonic by the fireside before walking over to see where the magic all happens.

Find out more and book your visit.

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