The Spring Collection

Well, it’s been a while! Life has been just a little bit crazy and the blog has been just a little bit neglected. But fear not, the gin drinking has not been quite so impacted 😉

It seems that Spring has finally sprung (almost!?), so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a few of my new gins, where they’re from and what I think…

First up, on our way back from a city break to Rome, I treated myself to a new gin in Heathrow airport (side bar: duty free, not so cheap). It’s called Roku and it’s a Japanese craft gin.


The Low Down

Name: Roku  – Japanese Craft Gin
Origin: Japan
Perfect Serve: ice, tonic and fresh ginger in a high ball glass
Where to buy: Waitrose (£30) or Master of Malt (£29.95)

Roku Gin is described as “blossoming from the four seasons of Japan” with six of the key botanicals harvested at the peak of each season in the year. The unique botanicals include sakura flower, sakura leaf, sencha tea, gyokuro tea, sansho pepper and yuzu peel, which complement the more traditional gin botanicals which create that real ‘gin’ flavour. How different?! Compared with my usual ‘go-to’ Scottish craft gins, this one is very unique in flavour. You can read more about the gin here.

I really like the authentic feel to the bottle. The paper label, the oriental-type design and the embossment on the glass all contribute to a beautifully floral, blossom-like feel. It’s also unique with the hexagonal bottle design – definitely a pretty addition to the gin collection 🙂


Next up, all the way from the Isle of Barra… Barra Gin.


The Low Down

Name: Barra Atlantic Gin
Origin: Isle of Barra, Scotland
Perfect Serve: neat over ice, or with a citrus garnish
Where to buy: Barra Gin website (£37)

From the beautiful island of Barra comes this unique gin, harnessing the spirit of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The key differentiator for Barra gin is the carrageen seaweed, harvested from the shores of the island before it’s distilled into this unique gin. Self described as showcasing a “perfect balance of floral and herbal on the nose, leading to juniper, citrus and dulcet carrageen rolling across the tongue like mighty Atlantic surf breaking on Barra shores”, it’s got to be tasted to be believed!

This one would make a great gift, with the gift set arriving in a carved wooden box with two perfect gin tumblers. My family (on my dad’s side) is from this beautiful island, so as soon as the gin was launched, I knew I wanted to get my hands on it! Dad beat me to it – buying some for him and some for me 🙂 it’s taken a proud place in my collection!

And, next… McQueen Gin.


The Low Down

Name: McQueen Gin
Origin: Callander, Scotland
Perfect Serve: big ice, tonic and garnished with orange and lime
Where to buy: McQueen Gin Website (£35)

I received the McQueen gin as a Christmas gift from my mother and father-in-law (clearly my family knows me so well!) and I was so excited to try it. Apart from the beautifully unique bottle (everyone loves a wax seal!), I had actually never heard of this one so was looking forward to tasting it. And it didn’t disappoint!

This gin is quite dry, with a deep forestry flavour and a crisp citrus finish. The flavour is so unique – to match its design – and it leaves you wanting more. McQueen recommend serving with orange and lime, but I’m not really a massive fan of orange in my gin (I find it overwhelms the juniper taste and it’s too sweet), but it does work with this one. I would probably prefer just to finish it off with the lime though 🙂

What I didn’t realise until writing this post is that there are multiple variations of this gin, including; sweet citrus, spiced chocolate orange, smoky chilli, mocha and chocolate mint. I think my wish list just grew!

And lastly, for this round, is the Lone Wolf Gunpowder Gin


The Low Down

Name: Lone Wolf Limited Edition Gunpowder Gin
Origin: Ellon, Scotland
Perfect Serve: However you dare to drink it 😉
Where to buy: LoneWolf website (£30)

As the creators say, “expect the unexpected” when it comes to the LoneWolf spirit collection. At a mighty 57%, this isn’t for the faint-hearted! Distilled and bottled in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, this is a punchy creation behind the Punk IPA giant BrewDog. This limited edition version of their small batch gin is spicy to taste – and would probably be a well paired with a slice of orange. Finishing with citrus notes, flavours of lemon and grapefruit cut through and it’s mighty fine! But, really, at 57%, take it easy… (*sips with caution*).


And there you have it! A little update on some new additions to the Aimee Talks collection 🙂 You’ll notice in the feature image of this post that I’ve included the Isle of Harris gin. However, I’ve decided to do a separate post on this one – it’s a real favourite of mine and there is just so much to say about the brand, the bottle, the gin and the ethos that it needs a page to itself 🙂

Have you tried any news gins recently? Let me know what you’re loving as we move into the sunnier months!

Happy gin-ing – thanks for reading!

Aimee x

This Is Gin.

When I started this blog and published my first post about the Aberdeen Gin Festival, a lovely lady called Karin McGivern got in touch to say she loved the post and wanted to send me her very first gin guide to read; This is Gin – the first publication in the ‘This is Guides’ series.

I have absolutely loved flicking through this small guide written by her and Scott Donald – so here are my thoughts…


Published this year, the guide includes around 40 of Scotland’s own gin distillers. From Gordon’s to Gordon Castle, it’s a delight turning each page to read a little about another different gin. It is beautifully presented, packed with photographs and illustrations, not to mention guest sections (I enjoyed the bit about Summerhouse Drinks and the Walter Gregor tonics!) and an overview of the history of gin. And, I have to say, what’s nice about it is that it’s not pretentious or overly informative (sometimes I think you can read too much about a gin), this guide gives you a little insight into where it’s made and some high level tasting notes. Just enough to give you an indication of what to expect.


And what’s better? There’s space to add your own notes! Hoooooray! How many times have you tried a gin you’ve been dying to get a taste of, only to forget what it tastes like (usually because you end up having too many… just me?!)? It’s great to be able to add just a couple of notes, whether it’s maybe what you drank it with (flavoured tonics, anyone?) or which garnish you chose to drink it with. I really like this feature – it’s like creating your own little gin diary. You can also fill in the stars and give it your own personal rating… Definitely feeling like a little gin critique right about now! *insert sassy emoji ;-)*


I don’t know about you, but I am a bit of a garnish geek. I don’t have a natural ‘talent’ at pairing perfectly suited garnishes to individual gins, no no. But I do love being told what goes best and I usually try to re-create perfect serves to try and get the best out of the gins. Karin & Scott have done the leg work for you and have dedicated a page to suggesting some of the best gins for the best garnishes – this will now be my go to trusted source! As a side note, I would also pair Gordon’s Castle with rosemary – I tried this at the Inverurie Gin Club a few months ago and it was deeeeelicious.


And what’s even more wonderful, is that this is just the first guide. I recently saw on the Instagram page (@thisisguides) that the deadline has recently passed for different gins to request to be involved with the next edition – I cannot wait to see what’s been included for the next one. The Scottish gin market is growing at an impressive rate and the quality of those new gins hitting the market is equally as impressive.


At the beginning of the Guide, Mike Stewart from Inverurie Whiskey Shop writes a very relevant and palatable foreword. I feel like he’s summarised the gin market perfectly with this;

“Gone are the heavy Juniper hits, the old fashioned smell that could put you off gin for life. Young people are into gin in a big way, both men and women, its fashionable – the bottles are designed in a new and trendy way. But there are also the trend-setters. Those 30 plus who have been drinking gin for years, now get a sense of pride in the way that they pioneered ‘the movement’. This is what helps make gin so popular, it really is a drink for everyone.”

And I think the This is Gin guide is for everyone, too. I’m enjoying noting down my different, personal, tasting notes and rating the array of Scottish gins in the market. It’s like my own little private mission to ‘complete’ the guide. Maybe I should aim to have completed it by the time the second one comes out… Challenge Accepted! #WishMeLuck

L-R: The Botanist, Esker Gin, Eden Mill Botano Gin, Portobello Road Gin and Whitley Neill (note: not all of these gins are in the guide! But just a little part of my personal collection 🙂

If you’d like to purchase the book, visit the This Is Guides Facebook or Instagram pages to shop the collection! At £14.99, it’s a neat little addition to your gin collection and I would totally recommend it*.

Enjoy 🙂

Aimee x

*Karin kindly sent me this guide for free in exchange for a review. I was delighted to accept and all views are 100% honest and are all my own.

Flying First Class…

Thoroughly enjoyed my gin flights at Chapter One in Inverurie!

We went for a pre-wedding anniversary dinner with my mum and dad while they were over visiting from the States. I had seen Chapter One share their new gin flights on Instagram and Facebook so I knew I had to go along!

It’s a really lovely restaurant – tastefully decorated in grey and white hues… very Instagram friendly! We were straight away provided with the gin flight menu – I was definitely more interested in that than the actual dinner menu! 🙂

So you choose what ‘class’ to travel in – I obviously chose first class! #allin

So I had the choice of Esker, House of Elrick, Teasmith, Gin Mare, Monkey 47 and Isle of Harris.

Mama went Business Class and had the choice of Rock Rose, Porters, Brockmans, the Botanist, Pickerings and Orkney Mikkelmas.

First up, business class took off…

Left to right, Pickerings garnished with lemon, Porter’s server with grapefruit and Rock Rose with orange and rosemary.

Apart from anything, how beautifully are these served?!

Of these, the Pickerings was the winner – the lemon garnish paired so well and it was absolutely delicious. Very refreshing. 

Next departure…

Left to right; Isle of Harris with orange, Monkey 47 with lime and then House of a Elrick garnished with a slice of lime also.

They’re all served with your choice of Fever Tree tonic – we went for Indian.

The House of Elrick gin is one I hadn’t tried before. It was very easy drinking, nothing particularly over powering in the flavour so very drinkable!

The Monkey 47 on the other hand does have quite a strong flavour, it’s juniper notes are predominante so the fresh garnish of lime compliments it well!

Isle of Harris… YUM! I think I have tried this one before, but I’d forgotten how good it is! Garnished with the orange was just scrumptious. I definitely savoured this one throughout my dinner!

And for food… Look at this feta, mint and tomato starter!

It was absolutely delicious, I could easily have eaten that as my main course too… But then I would have missed out on this steak…

A medium-rare fillet steak, served with wholegrain mustard new potatoes and salad with pickled onions. Highly yummy 🙂

Chapter One is a nice, intimate restaurant in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire that’s tastefully decorated and hosted by friendly staff.

Gin flighting is so much fun – it’s the perfect excuse to try different gins and garnishes that you might not have had before.

At £12 for business class or £14 for first class, you’re getting great value, high quality drinks and it’s all a bit of fun too 🙂

Where will you fly off to?!

Aimee x

Jindea Single Estate Tea Gin | Launch Event

I was very, very excited to be invited to the Aberdeen launch of Jindea, a single estate tea gin (“a tea gin?!” you ask… all shall be revealed!)

The event took place at The Tippling House, a very on-trend,  subterranean late night bar in Aberdeen city centre.

Being my first ‘blogger event’, I was a little nervous about what to expect, who would be there and what I would talk about (how do you introduce yourself as a gin blogger without sounding like a bit of an alcoholic? “Hi! I write about my hobby… gin.” Hmm…). But on arrival, I was immediately handed a B-E-A-UTIFUL heavy, crystal highball glass packed with ice, lime and Jindea gin with a bottle of Fever Tree tonic. There was no need to be nervous – I was right at home 😉


Seriously though, how beautiful is this glass? I really want some for home (I found similar ones here, here and here).

The bar was pretty busy already and amongst them I recognised a couple of faces so had some people to talk to. After a gin, the lovely staff came round with beautiful looking cocktails  called the “West Bengal Punch”, garnished with edible flowers – very pretty and very easy drinking, like an alcoholic iced tea… #yummy

[ West Bengal Punch ]

30ML Jindea Single Estate Tea Gin
20ML Crème de Peche
30ML Cold-Brew Darjeeling Tea
15ML Lemon Juice
1 TSP Caster Sugar
Shake all ingredients with ice. In an old-fashioned tumbler fine-strain over a large block of cut ice and serve with a spring of mint and slice of fresh peach.

More cocktail recipes here.

Then we got to learn all about Jindea, the gin itself, where it comes from and who’s behind the brand. I absolutely love learning the back stories of the different gins coming on the market, so I hope you do too!

Jindea is a single estate, first flush Darjeeling tea gin. I’m quite proud that I can now tell you what that actually means (everyday is a school day, and all that!). If you read my blog post ‘what makes gin, ‘gin’?’, you’ll now know that gin is categorised by its dominant juniper flavour. Jindea is no different in that regard, but where it sets itself apart is that the second main botanical is Darjeeling tea from the Goomtee estate in India (that’s where the label ‘single estate’ comes from – all the tea is sourced and exported from that one estate).


Photo credit: Jindea

Darjeeling is often referred to as the ‘champagne of tea’ and it makes up less than 1% of India’s total tea production. It is superior in quality and is highly sought after, making it a premium contribution to the Jindea flavour. I also learned at the event that there are four ‘flushes’ which identify the season in which the tea is picked. First flush tea is the spring picking (March / April), enabling the creation of a gentle black tea – very desirable and, again, a valuable trait in the development of Jindea.

The gin also features other citrus-forward botanicals, including lemon and grapefruit, as well as coriander, ginger, fennel, cardamon, cinnamon and angelica. The spirit is produced in France in a traditional alembic copper still, which looks a little like this…


Jindea is a London dry gin – I think I’ll do a separate post on the different types of gin, but in short, a gin can only be called a London dry gin if all of the flavour is developed in the distillation process. In other words, you can’t add any essence or flavours after the distillation is complete (it actually has nothing to do with being made in London!).

So, how do you go about creating a gin like this – how on Earth do you think to source tea from India and distill it in France? And how do you know what other flavours to add? Well, Adrian Gomes (owner of The Tippling House, Rye & Soda and events company 10 Dollar Shake), told us at the launch how Jindea came about.

“Jindea is the product of collaboration between three people with significant experience in the hospitality and drinks industry.”

As well as Adrian, the other key contributors to the development of this unique gin are Matthew Dakers (a tea sommelier, one of around only 20 in the UK!) and Jack Rackham (third generation family-owned  and London-based drinks importer).


Photo credit: Jindea

The trio have worked together, drawing on their own experiences, connections and knowledge, to develop a vibrant, citrus-forward gin.

Adrian explained that this was their third launch event in the U.K. They have already seen great success with the gin now being stocked in Harvey Nichols and the Savoy hotel (pretty impressive). Although the guys have clear connections to Aberdeen through their personal and professional relationships, Adrian explains that they don’t claim this to be a ‘local’ gin; they’re proud to introduce the international nature of the gin to the buoyant market in the UK, and what an impression they have made…


Jindea has just received the silver (outstanding) award at the International Wine and Spirit Competition – congratulations to the team! In celebration of this achievement (and if you’re local to Aberdeen), you can buy a bottle of Jindea at the Rye & Soda bottle shop with a 10% discount until Sunday, 30th July – get in there quick! 🙂

All in all, I had a great time at the event learning all about the gin (and tea, apparently!) and the brains behind the operation. I’ll definitely be picking up a bottle for myself from one of their retailers (full list here if you’re interested).

Have you tried it yet? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂

Thank you for reading!

Aimee x


What makes gin, ‘gin’?

The craft gin market has really taken off… There are new gins popping up all the time and it made me wonder how they can all be so successful. Aren’t they just the same thing?

If we take a step back for a second, what makes gin, ‘gin’?


I don’t know about you, but other than knowing that it involves distilling something, that juniper is involved and that it is a clear liquid, I didn’t really know much else behind it. (Actually, that’s a lie. I also knew that it tasted really, really good. Maybe that’s why I didn’t bother learning anything more about it. I mean, it tastes really good…)

Continue reading “What makes gin, ‘gin’?”

My First Gin Festival! #AberdeenGinFest

Suffice to say, this was a little exciting…

Where I live in the North East of Scotland, there isn’t a regular calendar of the kind of events and projects to get involved with like you would see in London, Manchester or Glasgow and Edinburgh. So learning that a  GIN FESTIVAL was coming to the city, I was first in line!


There was a choice of three sessions – Friday evening, Saturday afternoon or Saturday evening. By the time I got round to actually booking our tickets, the Saturday afternoon session was SOLD OUT! That was a little scary, so we straight away booked the Saturday evening session – it would kick off at 7pm, giving us the chance to meet up for a warm-up gin beforehand (duh, any excuse). It was £25 entry (via Eventbrite) and the tickets were emailed straight through. Simples.

Continue reading “My First Gin Festival! #AberdeenGinFest”

Aimee Talks Gin

Yay – so glad you’ve come on over for a little look!

Aimee Talks… is a new blog set up by me (Aimee, incase you hadn’t guessed that already) talking about all things gin, primarily.

I’m no gin expert, but I do absolutely love it and have thoroughly enjoyed the recent surge in craft gins entering the market. Living in Scotland, I’m spoilt for choice. There have been numerous new distilleries popping up in the North East (where I live), but also all over the country and even all the way out to the isles.

I hope you enjoy the posts to come – I have lots of exciting ideas for features and stories that I can start getting after! Look out for gins of the month, gift ideas, distillery tours, interviews, reviews and more. I hope to mix up use of text, photos and videos to keep it exciting, so watch this space…

I’d love to hear your thoughts, opinions and ideas, so please get in touch! It would be great to hear from you.

Until next time,

Aimee x