Scotland seems to be a huge melting pot (or should that be copper still) of artisan gin producers who are doing their bit to fill the shelves with their own twist on the classic juniper based spirit. I try to keep an eye on new gins coming to market but with so many being launched over the last few years, it's difficult to keep up. Thankfully, I have a few people also watching what's going on and keeping me up to date with gin news that they hear on their travels. Recently, my brother-in-law sent me a message letting me know that his cousin Steven Duthie and his wife Lynne had just launched Esker Gin from their base in Royal Deeside.
Esker gin is created in a traditional copper still with over a dozen responsibly sourced botanicals including heather, milk thistle, peppercorn, citrus and silver birch sap tapped from the trees of Kincardine Estate. Always keen to promote independent producers, I contacted Steven to give him the opportunity to answer 5 Questions.
Here's Steven's story;
How did you get started?We have always loved gin and tried new gins whenever we can, particularly when a local gin is available wherever we are. We bought a 1 litre copper still and worked on the recipe over a period of nearly 2 years. We chose a mix of locally available botanicals and botanicals that produced the flavours and aromas we liked in a gin and started from there. We enjoyed the journey immensely, as we’ve learned so much over the last couple of years.
What’s the best piece of business advice you could give?
To have a product you have complete confidence in and are proud of. Your faith and enthusiasm will be obvious.
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?
A family run business with a range of products on offer and international reach.
If you could only serve your gin one way, what would it be & why?
Over ice with a tonic of your choice and a twist of orange zest. A good tonic compliments the flavours in the gin and the orange brings out the citrus.
You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?
Sir Jackie Stewart. We are big Formula 1 fans and the stories he could tell from the early years of Grand Prix racing would be just incredible. On the menu would be, chilli prawns (tapas style) to start, followed by fillet steak with hand cut chips for main, and sticky toffee pudding with a good vanilla ice cream for dessert.
The gin market is a crowded playing field but Steven and Lynne believe that they have created a drink that is unique enough to stand out from the crowd. We were kindly sent a small bottle of Esker Gin to try out and I can honestly say that it's one of the better gins that I've tasted in to recent times, the birch sap gives the gin a taste all of its own. Keep an eye out for my Esker Gin review, coming very soon.
I would like to thank Steven for taking time out to answer 5 Questions and wish him and Lynne every success for the future with their gin adventure.