I’m not sure how I feel about today. This is a gin advent calendar. Not a liqueur advent calendar. This is only bearable because today’s liqueur is a) bramble flavoured and b) it’s made by Colonsay. We tried their gin in last year’s calendar which was filled with flavour, and they launched this in August 2018 after a trial run in small bottles in 2017. As a liqueur, this sits at 20% instead of their usual 47% and they use blackberries foraged from the island of Colonsay (their homeland in case you couldn’t guess) and brambles from Speyside in Northern Scotland. I’m a fan of a bramble cocktail so I have quite high hopes for this.
It’s day 11 of Ginvent and I am very excited. Not only have I just completed my first day at my new job, but I have also heard lots of good things about Colonsay gin, so I can’t wait to dig into this. Made by a husband and wife team (the Geekie’s) who left their Oxfordshire home to build their new house on the remote Hebridean island of Colonsay. Their new home combines with their love of gin and their goal is to make, not only a viable life for themselves on the island, but also to contribute to the ongoing sustainability and development of their island economy. I should point out that this island is so remote, it takes 2 and a half hours to get there by boat to the mainland (which only happens three times a week in the winter) or a twice weekly PLANE. They also run a weekend for gin lovers including accommodation in their home and picnic lunches, catered dinners and a gin tasting. Just something to consider if you want a remote weekend away. With lots of gin.
Note: I emailed Wild Island to see if they would send me a sample and they kindly did. I’ll let you know if I don’t like it.
Wild Island Botanic Gin is produced by Colonsay Beverages in the southern Hebrides on the Isle of Colonsay – home to just 120 inhabitants. Distilled with 100% British wheat, it is then infused with 16 botanicals – six of which are sourced locally including lemon balm, wild water mint, meadowsweet, sea buckthorn, heather flowers and the yummy sounding bog myrtle* (Moaning Myrtle spring to mind for anyone else?). The gin was launched in December and has already sold four batches of their gin – but I’m feeling like this is pretty special to have got some outside of Scotland. Wild Island Gin are another Scottish gin to use a beautifully designed label – it features an expressionist watercolour interpretation of the local Kiloran Bay (fun fact: you can buy Harris Tweed lampshades to match the bottles).