Has anyone else noticed it yet? The odd twinkly light in a shop window? The Scottie-dog-festooned cards popping up in charity stores? A suspicious box of mince pies slipped into your shopping trolley by a hungry family member? No, I do not jest – we are officially in “the lead up to Christmas”. I doubt a more terrifying term exists on this earth but lucky for us we have had a million and one events to enjoy – and a million and one more to come – before Santa touches down. Sadly we will be retiring our gazebo as the cold weather encroaches and next year will see our new branding hit the festivals. Farewell, old friend!
Many of you may have noticed that we released two beautiful new products in August – our long-awaited Folklore Collection Gin Liqueurs, the Red Cap and the Green Lady. What we haven’t shared with you yet is how we came by their gorgeous illustrations. Enter Ritchie Collins, or perhaps re-enter is the correct term as it was he who designed our existing Wallace Monument and Stirling Bridge images. Ritchie is a Leith-based artist who completed his education in Glasgow and developed his bold and brilliant style in a gallery in Morningside. He has long had a fascination with myth and legend and when we approached him with our red cap and ghostly green lady characters, he knew exactly how to depict them. His illustrations capture the beautiful and sinister sides of our Scottish mythology and truly showcase his rich and colourful style of painting.
You can see Ritchie’s work here but we strongly suggest you visit his gallery in Leith. You will not be disappointed.
It seemed as though Perth was the place to be this September. Run by the incredibly Provender Brown on George Street, the annual Perth G&T Festival took place on Saturday the 15th and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the most loved gin cocktail. Festival-goers were treated to their favourite gin in a variety of perfect serves – we still think our fresh basil and orange peel blows the rest out of the water. If free-flowing food was more your thing, you may have found yourself attending a slightly different festival that week. Friday the 14th to Sunday the 16th saw Perth’s streets inundated with some of the world’s finest cuisine at the Taste of Perthshire Food Festival. Our direct experience with food may only stretch to our garnishes but we were there to quench some serious thirsts. We even had the enormous honour of meeting famous French chef Jean-Christophe Novelli who brought his multiple Michelin stars to some fabulous cooking demonstrations across the weekend. Below you can see him rubbing shoulders with Charlie, our newest and luckiest recruit!
It feels like we were talking about this year’s Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival all year so it’s a shock to realise the big weekend has come and gone. As one of the festival’s main sponsors we are given the enviable opportunity to take part in the many and varied talks, events, award nights and the titular torch procession winding from Stirling Castle to the Albert Halls. This year’s events saw talks on crime fiction tourism, the real CSI, violence against women, writer’s responsibility in real life crime and breaking writing barriers from some of the world’s most acclaimed and successful writers. The weekend began with some Stirling Gin Bloody Scotland cocktails in the breathtaking Church of the Holy Rude where the winner of this year’s William McIlvanney prize was announced. It turns out the writing apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as Liam McIlvanney scooped the prize with his new novel The Quaker. We could go on about Bloody Scotland for days but the quickest way to get in the know is to attend next year’s festival. Keep your eye on Stirling Gin’s social media to grab an early ticket.
And so we finally move to October, one month closer to eggnog and the usual family dramas. You’ll have to bear with me for a few moments as we’ve planned an absolutely bumper few weeks.
First up is a gin and rum festival a little further from home than usual – Olives at the Station in Whitley Bay are showcasing spirits from all over the UK in their beautiful beer garden and Stirling Gin have managed to bag a spot. Tickets can be bought here and it’s well worth the trip to the seaside. If you’re staying local that weekend, the Scottish Gantry in Stirling are holding their Alhambra Whisky Festival on Saturday the 6th and while we don’t (yet) have whisky we will be offering a welcome break with our perfect serves and Folklore Collection Liqueurs. The big day is fast approaching so grab a ticket here.
In one of their final events of the year, the Gin Fayre are hitting up Elgin on Saturday the 20th of October. Located in the lovely Laichmoray Hotel the festival will offer its usual array of gin producers along with a goody bag on arrival – what’s more, we are running our very own masterclass where we will be sharing creative ideas, cocktails and our beautiful new liqueurs. Grab your tickets here – you won’t regret it.
We are planning a special treat this Halloween with Stirling-based ghost aficionado David Kinnaird. David has treated fans of the occult to his spookily crafted tours for the last twenty five years and what began as a community project now employs a variety of actors all passionate about communicating Stirling’s ghostly heritage. We are teaming up with David to delve into the tale of our Green Lady and you can be sure we will be giving out samples at the same time. For More information and to book our very special Stirling Gin ghost tour please visit here.
I’ve left the best till last, as is my want. From Friday the 5th to Sunday the 7th we will be making the journey down to London to take part in this year’s Cake and Bake show at ExCel on Royal Victoria Dock. We reached out to our baking public for a boozy bake recipe and boy did they deliver. It was a hard choice but the delicious sweet treats of Karen’s House of Cakes won us over with their bouquet cupcakes. Each cupcake will use our Green Lady and Red Cap liqueurs to make some truly moreish bakes and we can’t wait to share them with our London fans. For tickets to the Cake and Bake show visit their website here and to treat your eyes to Karen’s creations visit here.