Is bigger really better? We're talking gin of course! The words craft gin and small batch gin are thrown about these days but the definition of a craft gin is a gin that is distilled in small batches by a distiller or brand that has a passion for creating beautiful spirits. There is an emphasis on craftmanship, rather than mass producing gin, which is retailed for a much lower cost. There is nothing wrong with gin produced in volume but it's way more exciting to explore the world of small-batch gin and support these producers who are making gin out of love and not just money. I'll move on, as I'm sure some may see this as an unpopular opinion, because many small-batch producers will be using a base spirit produced in large volumes, so where do you draw the line?
The high and lowlands of Scotland have seen some turbulent times throughout history but today the country is possibly best known for haggis and whisky. If you are a ginthusiast like me, then you will also be aware of the growing number of Scottish gin distilleries and brands that have come to market over the past few years. My gin shelves are bowing under the weight of many fabulous Scottish gins and there are so many that I am still keen to try. Early in 2018, the McVicar brothers, Euan and Stuart, established The Biggar Gin Co in South Lanarkshire and they base their business on a philosophy which is centred around Biggar Mentality. Whilst the gin is small batch, their passion, ambition and taste is big and reflect the history of their local town, which has always welcomed innovation. They have created a brand that punches above its own weight and is proud of its origins. Their ethos carries through their branding with their over-sized labels reinforcing the fact that their gin is small batch, but has a Biggar mentality. The greyhound icon is a nod to The Biggar Social Club which was founded in 1821 for proprietors and gentlemen who raced their greyhounds across the fields of Biggar. When the club went into decline a few decades later, it changed from a coursing club to a social club and subscription fees were used to purchase fine wines and spirits, which were stored in the Biggar Corn Exchange. The calm and intelligent looking greyhound icon is therefore their way to remember a society of connoisseurs who appreciated a fine drink. Biggar Gin use locally sourced botanicals, which marry beautifully alongside traditional botanicals. They mix tradition and innovation and the result is a beautiful craft gin which has won awards from the start. Their flagship product is their Original Recipe and this is produced in batches of under 140 bottles per run. The botanical lineup includes juniper, coriander seeds, cardamom, cassia bark, orange, lemon, rosehip, rowan berries, nettles, pink peppercorn and lavender and it's bottled at 43%. Being a London Dry Gin it also reflects their values of combining tradition with innovation, the very essence of #biggarmentality. WHITE LADY COCKTAIL (from the Biggar Gin website) 50ml Original Biggar Gin 22.5 ml Orange Liqueur 22.5 ml lemon juice 15ml sugar syrup Egg white Method Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Remove the ice (reverse dry shake) and shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds. Double strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a little lemon peel.