This time of year it’s easy to forget that the world revolves around anything other than the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Comedy, music, circus, cabaret and theatre aside, we’re keeping to our roots and venturing ever further into the Scottish countryside and the many and varied activities of agricultural and highland shows.
Saturday July 7th saw us splitting our talents at both the Dunblane Agricultural Show and the Luss Highland Games. The brilliant summer weather kept us dry and (a little too) warm – nothing a refreshing G&T couldn’t fix. Luss was a particularly meaningful event for us as the female (and arguably better) half of our ownership team grew up in the area. Held since 1875 the Luss Games were started by an enthusiastic group of farmers and sportsmen and the tradition has continued ever since.
The kilted dash at Luss Highland Games
We also sent June to the Airth Highland Games on July 28th. The history of these games goes a little further back – there is a rumour that in 1488 Prince James’ rebel soldiers camped in the area and played games in preparation for an upcoming battle in Sauchieburn. While we had to battle high winds on the day we definitely didn’t find ourselves at war and our gin samples went down without a fight.
Running and gin may not be a pairing that immediately leaps to mind but on July 8th we took our gazebo down to Gateshead and set up for the Great North 10k. There’s nothing quite as thirsty as a person at the end of a hot, sweaty race and we were there to provide relief.
The Great North Run Company encompasses 10k races, half marathons and marathons all over the UK, is the largest of its kinds in the world and offers research and support into better health and well being. At any of their events you will find serious runners intent on beating their personal bests, families out to get active and spend time together and groups raising money for medical research.
If you’re very lucky you may even see Colin Plews who is much better known as the man behind The Big Pink Dress. He certainly needed a G&T after the race but more importantly he needs donations. You can find more information about the good work he does here.
Since we released Stirling Gin in 2015 we have relied on a single product to build our empire. It’s taken time to perfect our next venture but we are finally ready to announce that we are releasing our long awaited Folklore Collection comprised of two gin liqueurs – the raspberry Red Cap and mint and bramble Green Lady. The creation of these liqueurs has been a real education and we have done all the experimentation by hand.
Our Join the Journey members had a unique opportunity to sample the Folklore Collection on Sunday July 29th as well as enjoy a tour of our distillery site at the foot of Stirling Castle. Kicking off with a classic Stirling Gin perfect serve we went on to tell the story behind the Red Cap and Green Lady, both of which delve into the folklore of Scotland and Stirling. It’s important to us to celebrate the history of our city and with every product we release we reveal more of the mythology behind our brand. While the Folklore Collection is officially released later on in August, we would love to offer our readers the chance to experience the very first batch before their public unveiling. Visit here to get your hands on a piece of Stirling’s history.
So what do we have coming up for August? The Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival is just around the corner, one of Scotland’s most respected and grisly literary events on the calendar. As one of the festival’s main sponsors we are supporting each day with our bespoke Bloody Scotland cocktail but the first event on the list involves the fantastic Lin Anderson and her new novel Sins of the Dead. Lin will be appearing at Waterstone’s in Edinburgh on August 20th and we will be there with our bar to hand out our Bloody Scotland and listen to Lin’s newest crime creation. For more information on the event visit Waterstone’s website.
It wouldn’t be a month of Stirling Gin without a Highland Games and on August 5th we will be in our neighbouring town of Bridge of Allan. With one of the most emotive pipe band performances in the country this promises to be a truly memorable day that also boasts competitive wrestling, cycling, running and Highland dancing. We will be there with our gazebo and plenty of gin – pick up tickets here.
On August 18th we are staying close to home and attending the Stirling Highland Games where you can enjoy stunning views of the Wallace Monument, Stirling Castle and Cambuskenneth Abbey. We will be bringing the Folklore Collection in one of their first public outings so this really is a Highland Games not to be missed. Tickets are still available here.
For many people summer in Scotland is not complete without the Blair Horse Trials. Running from August 23rd to 26th this prestigious event offers grassroots eventing, show jumping, pony shows and hunter showing as well as a huge array of craft, food and refreshment stands. If you love the sight of beautiful horses, and love the taste of delicious gin, this is definitely an event for the diary. Read up on the day and grab some tickets here.
With all the gin and whisky festivals out in the world we love attending a festival that celebrates both. On August 25th the Alba Gin and Whisky Festival in Kirkintilloch will bring together the best of distilling talent as well as some cheeky treats from the Chocolate Box. We promise not to abandon our stall and go sampling for ourselves. At least, not for too long. Tickets are available here.