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These Scottish Cocktails Are As Refreshing As a Dip in an Ice-Cold Loch

scottish cocktails
Dunnet Bay Distillers

Scotland is the world leader in the whisky industry but did you know that Scotland produces 70% of the UK’s gin? Scottish cocktails started over 300 years ago when the first bottles of fiery Dutch Jenever were traded into the Port of Leith.

With such a rich spirits history that has blossomed into a love affair with gin, it’s no wonder that Scottish cocktails containing gin are some of the best in the world.

We’ve rounded up 5 of the best Scottish cocktails from some of the highest quality small-batch distilleries in the UK’s gin powerhouse – Scotland.

  1. Smoking Gun

    Gin Bothy’s award winning Gunshot gin is special as it was awarded the only 3 star Great Taste award in Scotland since 2016.

    Its name came from the Scottish hills and a fiery kick is provided by the cloves and cinnamon in the botanicals list.

    Ingredients:

    Method:

    1. Add the ingredients to a Boston shaker with ice and shake well.
    2. Sieve through a hawthorn strainer.
    3. Serve with a cinnamon stick wrapped in orange peel.
    4. Light the cinnamon stick for extra effect.
  2. Pipers' Peppered Punch

    Heather, a wild purple flower synonymous with Scotland, is hand picked from the Isle of Bute for use in Heather Gin.

    An equal amount of sweet, spice, citrus and floral is in this, the most balanced of Scottish cocktails.

    Ingredients:

    • 25ml Isle of Bute Heather Gin
    • 12.5ml Ottos Vermouth
    • 12.5ml Limoncello
    • 25ml lemon juice
    • 20ml pink peppercorn syrup
    • Grapefruit zest
    • 1/4 red pepper
    • 3 strawberries

    Method:

    1. Muddle red peppers and strawberry in a cocktail shaker with cubed ice and pour Bute Heather Gin and the rest of ingredients. Shake hard.
    2. Strain into a tall rocks that has been rimmed with pink peppercorns over crushed ice.
    3. Garnish with peppers and lemon.
  3. Plum Gin Tom Collins

    Plum Gin Liqueur is made from Gordon Castle’s very own variety of plums, with ancient roots grown in their historic walled garden in Scotland’s Speyside.

    Infused with award-winning Gordon Castle Gin, this boutique gin is one for all gin lovers.

    Although the Tom Collins is an American creation, this creation is an honourary Scottish cocktail.

    Ingredients:

    Method:

    1. Build the drink over plenty of ice and stir gently.
    2. Garnish with a fan of apple to compliment.
  4. A Toast to the Lassies

    Toast the lassies on Burns Night, or indeed any night, with this delicious gin and tea cocktail created by Franklin & Sons.

    Dunnet Bay Distillers‘ limited edition Lassies Toast Gin provides the basis and Scottish shortbread a garnish to this most Scottish-y of Scottish Cocktails.

    Ingredients: 

    • 35ml Lassies Toast Gin
    • 10ml Cointreau
    • 40ml cloudy apple juice
    • 40ml Earl Grey tea
    • 10ml lemon juice
    • 12ml honey syrup
    • Franklin & Sons Elderflower & Cucumber Tonic

    Method:

    1. Steep 1 Earl Grey tea bag in 300ml of hot water for 2 minutes, remove the tea bag and allow to cool.
    2. Make the honey syrup by diluting honey on a 1:1 ratio with hot water and allow to cool.
    3. Add all the ingredients to a highball glass except the tonic. Fill the glass completely with ice and stir to combine. Add the Franklin & Sons tonic and continue to stir.
    4. Garnish with a piece of shortbread, a raspberry and a wee sprig of mint.
  5. Blaeberry & Lavender Collins

    As blue as the Scottish saltire, this icy-looking gin cocktail from Aberdeenshire-based Hrafn Gin could well be the King in the North when it comes to winter gin cocktails.

    Ingredients:

    • 50ml Hrafn Gin ‘Winter’
    • 50ml blueberry or lavender shrub
    • 10ml sugar syrup
    • 100ml Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic

    Method:

    1. Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
    2. Add the gin, shrub and sugar syrup.
    3. Shake & strain into a flute.
    4. Top with tonic water.
    5. Garnish with blaeberry skewer.
  6. Irn-Burns

    Irn-Bru is giving whisky a run for its money these days in the battle to be the “most Scottish” drink. So when we have a cocktail including Irn-Bru, whisky and premium Scottish gin Loch Ness Legends then it’s a whole lot of Scottish in one drink.

    This recipe from Inverness-based Loch Ness Spirits uses the limited edition Irn Bru 1901 but the original flavour should be fine if you can’t get your hands on it.

    Ingredients:

    • 30ml Loch Ness Legends
    • 20ml whisky
    • 10ml lemon juice
    • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
    • Irn-Bru 1901 to top up

    Method:

    1. In a cocktail shaker mix the gin, whisky, lemon juice and bitters.
    2. Serve in a tall glass over cubed ice and top up with Irn Bru 1901.
    3. Garnish with flamed orange peel.