A new Scottish Gin is on sale in Edinburgh this summer, created by Surgeons Quarter to celebrate the history of The Barber Surgeons in Edinburgh and with profits going to training new surgeons worldwide.
The gin is called 1505, the year the Barbers and Surgeons of Edinburgh were granted a Seal of Cause which conferred certain privileges upon them, including the following: “…that no person, man nor woman, within this burgh [shall] make or sell any aqua vitae within the burgh except the said masters, brethren and freemen of the said crafts under the penalty of forfeiture of the same without favour.”
Aqua vitae was the name for a strong alcoholic spirit, used by surgeons to preserve body parts. But as they held the monopoly in distilling spirits, the Barber Surgeons also sold it within the Burgh of Edinburgh.
To recognise this little piece of history, Surgeons Hall decided to work with close neighbours at Summerhall Distillery to create a new Edinburgh-made gin. The recipe contains fifteen botanicals including five from the original aqua vita recipe: hedge mustard, pink peppercorn, gillyflower, fennel and cumin.
If you are visiting the Edinburgh Fringe this summer, you can buy 50ml serves of 1505 Gin at any of Surgeons Quarter’s bars, including Drinks & Dining at Ten Hill Place Hotel and Festival outlets. Priced at £9, the drinks are served with rosemary, orange and tonic. You can also buy a bottle to take away with you.