Monday, December 2, 2019

This Golden Fleece and Edinburgh Gin Apple and Spice Liqueur

I’ve been reading Esther Rutter’s ‘This Golden Fleece’ for months now, putting it down to deal with other commitments (including some knitting projects) and other books. It’s travelled all over the place with me, and now it looks like it. It’s a journey through Britain’s knitted history which mean two of my favourite places (Shetland, and the bit of the Scottish Borders I’m best acquainted with) get chapters.

Rutter is an engaging writer who explores all sorts of avenues in her journey around the country as well as sharing a good bit about herself. Her enthusiasm for the project she’s undertaken jumps off every page and for anyone who follows her on social media it’s clear the adventure continues. It will be interesting to see what she writes next, but meanwhile this is a great book for anyone interested in making or British history.

I bought the Apple & Spice gin liqueur as a Christmas present, but am tempted to get another bottle for myself (common sense argues that I have a lot of booze in the house already, and no job...). Flavoured gins are not really my thing, and as a category they’re a little bit troubling, but Edinburgh Gin is an exception to that.

The problem for me is that a lot of what’s currently being labelled as flavoured gin is basically flavoured vodka - there’s nothing wrong with flavoured vodka, but it’s not as fashionable as gin hence the rebranding and it doesn’t feel entirely honest. Gin should taste predominantly of juniper but  there’s not actually much active regulation over labelling so the boundaries between gin and liqueurs is blurring in a way that isn’t terribly helpful.

Edinburgh Gin, to be clear, are not part of the problem. Their flavoured products are clearly marketed as gin based liqueurs, and the serving suggestions they come with reflect that. I’m looking at the Apple & Spice as something that would be fun to add to a Martini instead of vermouth for a seasonal twist, or to drink over ice.

Edinburgh Gin do a whole range of these, they’re beautifully packaged, a sensible 50cl size (nobody needs liqueurs hanging around for to long) and at around £18 a bottle not stupidly expensive. If you’re looking for something fun to add to the Christmas bar or to personalise a classic cocktail they’re a great place to start.

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