Gin frenzy is just the tonic for Bon Accord


A historic north-east soft drinks firm revived by a descendant of its founders has launched just the tonic for Scotland’s fizzing gin industry.

Bon Accord, which was recently relaunched by Karen Knowles – the great, great granddaughter of Bon Accord’s founding Robb family – have released a their tonic water in a new bottle aimed at bars and restaurants. The firm estimates it has produced enough to pour 30,000 gin and tonics in its first batches.

Ms Knowles and her business partner Nathan Burrough said they designed the taste of the drink to accompany the growing array of Scottish gins on the market. Total UK gin sales broke the £1billion mark in 2016 with two thirds of the UK’s gin produced in Scotland. The bar-friendly sized tonic water is available across Edinburgh and the Lothians, Glasgow, Tayside and the north-east.

The soft drink company relaunched last year after spotting a gap in the market for a range made from natural sweeteners and no artificial flavours. Ms Knowles and Mr Burrough worked with the University of Abertay to devise recipes for sparkling rhubarb and a cloudy lemonade-flavoured drinks to accompany their tonic water and plan to release a new ginger beer in March.

Mr Burrough said: “The gin market is booming in Scotland and working in collaboration with some of Scotland’s top gin bars, we are now ready to release our new tonic water. We have listened to industry leaders and reformatted our tonic water to suit the on-trade market. It was important for us to work closely with those who have real insight into the industry.

“It made perfect business sense for us to create a smaller size bottle for a single serve gin & tonic. As a Scottish business, we are eager to support Scottish gin distillers with a tonic water that showcases the amazing Scottish gins on the market.”

The original business was founded in 1909 by the Robb family. The soft drinks manufacturer was based in Arbroath, with depots in Torry, Inverness and Edinburgh.

One of three major soft drink manufactures in Scotland at the time, along with AG Barr and James Dunbar, Bon Accord was known for its fleet of trucks distributing their iconic crates of glass bottles to households across Scotland.

Richard Rooney

Richard Rooney

The Courier's online editor.