Global sales of gin have rocketed in recent times with UK gin sales soaring by almost 20% over the last two years. City centre drinkers have been spoiled for choice as 'craft gin' fever takes a hold on trendy bars with independent distillers doing what they can to put their own twist on 'Mother's Ruin'.
When I attended the Ideal Home Show at the SECC back in May, there were a number of gin producers exhibiting, but one bottle really caught my eye on the day and that was the Rock Rose Gin produce by husband and wife team Martin & Claire Murray all the way up in Caithness. Their delicate gin is the result of a careful blend of local and traditional botanicals including Rhodiola Sea Buchthorn and Rowan Berries, all of which help create a distinctive gin that is then bottled in an eyecatching art nouveau ceramic bottle.
Rock Rose Gin is produced at the Dunnet Bay Distillery in small batches but that hasn't stopped them from smashing their own stretching sales targets with ease and picking up awards along the way.
Here's Rock Rose's story;
I worked in the local supermarket at the age of 16 in the fruit and veg aisle. My lovely supervisors Jasmine and Martin taught me well, and it was a good introduction to the smells and flavours available locally and across the globe.
What’s the best piece of business advice you could give?
Trust your instinct and believe in yourself.
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?
I would like to have a distillery with a great reputation for spirits, and a happy, creative team working with us.
If you could match a gin with one of your own recipes, what would it be & why?
I love curries and I love gin, so I think I would distil a spicy gin with cardamom and have it with a hot version of butter chicken.
You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?
letter to his dead wife sealed it for me. The menu would consist of scallops, beef and cranachan with a wee gin to finish off.
I had been lucky enough to try a little sample of Rock Rose Gin when I visited their stand at The Ideal Home Show but to help me full appreciate the product, Martin very kindly sent me a beautifully presented Perfect Serve just before I went off on holiday but I only managed to crack it open over the weekend. Rock Rose Gin is one of the smoothest gins that I have tasted and I found that I could easily manage a double measure with the Fever Tree tonic mixer. That said, if you enjoy your gin that little bit stronger, Rock Rose Gin is also available in a Navy Strength version that you can buy directly from their website.
I would like to thank Martin and Claire for taking the time out to answer 5 Questions as well as wish them all the best for the future. The ever growing gin market is a ferocious place to do business but I'm sure that Rock Rose Gin will hold it's own as time rolls on. Rest assured, when I need to buy my next bottle, I'll definitely be looking out for Rock Rose Gin.