Food & drink from Scotland is achieving a world-wide reputation for quality, freshness and of course, fabulous taste. Our drinks are legendary too, and none better than the range of Scottish gin being produced all across the country. With flavours influenced by everything from spices to seaweed and lemons to liquorice, let’s discover some food & drink matches made in Heaven (well Scotland actually), for all to enjoy:-
Traditional food pairings have placed red meat with red wine, fish and chicken with white wine, and curries with beer, but no more. These days it’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy a glass of Beaujolais with bass, a Riesling with your Rogan josh, and a rose with risotto. But what if gin’s more your thing?
Food & Drink (well gin to be exact)
Try Scottish lamb, roasted with garlic and rosemary, alongside a gin which will cut through the richness and enhance those robust herby flavours.
Crossbill Gin combines it’s juniper and rosehip influences to create a herbal dry finish which will work wonderfully well with the lamb. A simple tonic, perhaps a sprig of rosemary, and you’ve got an epic food & drink experience your friends and family will love.
Pork needs something with a little more acid, something citrussy perhaps? No bother for Scottish Gin!
Blackthistle Gin has a smooth crispness with caraway, wormwood and thistles in the mix, bringing a perfect food & drink flavour pairing to your table.
Avva Navy Strength Gin would also work brilliantly with pork. The nettles, dandelions and sweet citrus notes are ideal food & drink plate-mates.
Or try Hills and Harbour Gin from Newton Stewart’s Crafty Distillery. It contains needles from the Noble Fir and seaweed, so you can imagine how that smooth vibrant flavour will sit so deliciously with pork.
Beef steaks or roasts require a gin with some spice or pepper elements, and there’s an obvious choice from our gin collection! It’s Kirkjuvagr Aurora Orkney Gin. The mix of cloves and peppercorns, joined by nutmeg and cinnamon echo an aged shiraz. Try serving it with spiced orange ginger ale or a plain tonic for maximum effect.
If you prefer something a little lighter, perhaps Tayport Distillery’s Wild Rose Gin? The images of the wild rose imply delicacy and fragrance, both of which are there, but the pine and juniper also brings earthy pepperiness and spice. Enjoy this exquisite food & drink combination!
How about Italian food, perhaps basil laden pesto, or herbaceous oregano? Why not try something equally at home in the garden, like Kinrara Distillery’s Ginny Gin. It’s floral notes with a citrus tang will bring all those Mediterranean flavours to life.
The City of Aberdeen Distillery’s Fresh Gin is another delight. It’s citrus hit combined with coriander, brings a brightness to pasta and pizza which you’re sure to love. Buon appetito!
Spicy food has traditionally been the preserve of pilsner beer or Riesling wine, but not any more! Instead try pairing your chilli-hot delights with Scottish Gin. A great choice would be Cairngorm Gin, made in the Highlands, it’s man enough to stand up to the most intense flavours, especially when mixed with a fizzy tonic or soda water. The smooth but rich floral and fruity flavours are refreshing to an overheated palate, but they’re not easily overpowered. Try it – you’ll love it!
If you go a little less heavy on the chilli, Roehill Springs Gin with a fizzy tonic or even lemonade works so well with a creamy korma or butter chicken. Try that next time the urge to spice up your life takes over!
Dunnet Bay’s Rock Rose Navy Strength Gin would also work well alongside the most robust spices. There’s a warmth of pine offset by a fizziness from citrus notes, backed up by the earthiness of angelica and orris root. With rich berry flavours on top, this will add a new food & drink dimension to your Friday night curry!
Salty foods like bacon, ham and pancetta, need something relatively dry and ideally with lots of bubbles to cut through. Arbikie’s Nadar gin is made from peas, but conversely tastes of lemongrass, and leafy citrus-ness. Imagine that, lightened by simple tonic or soda water, alongside some aged pecorino cheese, olives and perhaps some smoked almonds? A whole body food & drink experience, in a glass!
Chicken dishes will celebrate with fragrant gins, especially those with stone fruit flavours and a hint of sweetness. Garden Shed’s Bramble Peach Gin is perfect, combining delicate flavours and fruitiness in a bright, fun and refreshing mouthful.
Misty Isle Distillery on the Isle of Skye, make a Pink Old Tom Gin, with hints of pears, meadowsweet, and warm summer fruits. Again, a perfect match for chicken, and try it with oily fish too.
Seafood works so well with creamy vanilla, especially when cooked simply. Arran Gin may well have been created for seafood, and is right at home on the seashore. Why not match it with some fresh Scottish scallops next time around. They also make a delicious Cassis, which we hear is great with (or in?) cheesecakes. Sounds amazing to us.
El:Gin is another one to try. Made from oats, it has a creamy texture, but is also crisp enough to set off the delicate flavours of the finest fruits of Scotland’s sea.
Blue Cheese, in fact cheese in general, can be tricky. Blue Cheese may be the hardest of all to match, and many great wine makers have tried. Perhaps Scottish Gin has the answer, and that’s fruit. Not the summery delicate fruits perhaps but the tough guys. Ice and Fire’s Caithness Highland Gin contains rhubarb, giving it an assertive yet fresh fruity flavour, which works so well with Strathdon Blue or Lanark Blue.
Caorunn Gin, named after the rowan berries it contains, creates sharp yet intensely fruity flavours. A specific coul apple is also in the mix, infused in the unique copper berry chamber, and the result is a sweet, clean and full bodied gin. We think it’s wonderful alongside a hard Scottish cheddar or Dunlop cheese.
Wild Island’s Distiller’s Cut Gin is the first distilled spirit to be produced on the island of Colonsay. It blends fresh redcurrants, lemon balm and the sharpness of sea buckthorn together. The result is a fabulous food & drink match for creamy Scottish cheeses, like Clava Brie or Crowdie.
Another food & drink pairing approach would be to add a sweeter Scottish Gin to a challenging cheese. Kintyre’s Pink Gin is creamy and rich with the sweet fruity sharpness of raspberries alongside. Lost Loch’s Eenoo Gin also combines raspberries and other fruit flavours with honey. A full bodied crumbly, salty or nutty cheese would be an excellent choice with either one.
Smoked foods can offer a challenge to your drinks trolley too, but Scottish Gin has it covered! Look for one with a pepperiness or a savoury citrussy buzz. LinGin brings spicy pepper and citrus notes together in a London dry gin which will bring out those delicious smoky flavours. Downpour Gin from North Uist Distillery would be another great choice. The juniper mixes well with the citrus and heathery sweetness, and would be ideal with some smoked trout or an Arbroath Smokie. The Salar hot smoked salmon from South Uist is also a wonderful table twin.
And so to dessert, pudding or ‘afters’. It doesn’t have to be a super sweet gin here, in fact a warm spicy one might be just the ticket. What about Isle of Cumbrae’s Crocodile Rock Gin with a concentration of cacao, orange and stem ginger? Try that with a vanilla-rich ice cream. Cumbrae’s Nostalgin begins with the promise of lavender, for relaxation and calming, much like the island itself. But once tasted, the lavender is much less subtle, and brings a mouthful of mintiness, spice and bramble notes, before relaxing into orange, heather and sweetness. Gorgeous with Pavlova or shortbread and berries.