An international celebration
of all things Scottish Gin.

ISGD 2021 Highlights

We reflect on International Scottish Gin Day 2021.

Published: 12th October 2021

Saturday the 2nd of October 2021 was the third annual International Scottish Gin Day. Having moved to the first Saturday in October, the day saw a number of Scotland’s Gin makers and brand owners open their distilleries and provide their audiences with a number of discounts and offers. The day also saw bars around the world raise a glass in celebration, showcasing the Scottish Gins featured on their back bar, and provided a platform for the gin community and consumers to celebrate Scottish Gin. A number of retailers also ran online and in-store promotions across their Scottish Gin stock.

ISGD x Martini Club UK x Mackintosh Gin

Mackintosh Gin collaborated with Martini Club UK who created three outstanding Martini riffs that featured all three Mackintosh gins along with a number of other Scottish spirits producers including Loch Ness Spirits Absinthe and Great British Vermouth. The Martinis included a Burnt Martini featuring Wermod Dry Vermouth and Laphroaig 10 Islay Single Malt. The Martini 1888 featured Mackintosh Old Tom, Valentian Vermouth Rosso, Loch Ness Absinthe, Boker’s Bitters and the Tablet Martini featured Butter-washed Mackintosh Original, Sweetened Wermod Dry Vermouth, Lactic Acid.

Martini Club UK were joined by Jim and Debs Mackintosh, the co-founders of Mackintosh Gin, Natalie and Martin Reid, the co-founders of The Gin Cooperative and International Scottish Gin Day along with a number of people from Martini Club on a live Zoom tasting event. Martini Club UK had prepared all three martinis as pre-batched pouches so everyone could enjoy the three fantastic cocktails along with hearing more from the guests about ISGD, Mackintosh Gin and lots of insight from the co-founders of Martini Club, Anthony Brimacombe, Julian Vallis and Sandra Lim about each Martini’s unique flavour profile. Michael Kaplan, founder of Great British Vermouth also attended the zoom who provided his own insight about vermouth along with the background behind his Great British Vermouth.

Along with the live event, Martini Club UK also hosted a number of Instagram Lives with a variety of Scotland’s gin makers including Biggar Gin, Inshriach Gin (possibly the first time an interview with a gin maker has began with the gin maker on a boat in the middle of a large pond), Rock Rose Gin and Crossbill Gin. There were plenty of questions, discussions, cocktails and laughs. 

Rock Rose Gin ISGD 2021 Cocktail Competition

Dunnet Bay Distillers, the makers of Rock Rose Gin, invited us to be judges as part of their International Scottish Gin Day 2021 cocktail competition. The brief was for bartenders and mixologists to create a Rock Rose Gin cocktail that captured the local landscape where Dunnet Bay Distillers are based. With its coastal location, the distillery, which is mainland UK’s most northernly distillery, provided plenty of inspiration for the participants.

Entries included takes on classic cocktails like the negroni along with original cocktails, all featuring at least one Rock Rose Gin expression. We were delighted to see the variety and creativity that each entrant had put into their unique cocktails. Having provided our feedback to the team at Dunnet Bay Distillers, the five finalists were announced on International Scottish Gin Day and are now up for the public vote with the winner announced at the end of month. Link to vote is here. Best of luck to all the finalists.

The five finalists are:

Illicit Spirits x Gin On The Tyne ISGD Negroni Challenge

Gin On The Tyne collaborated with Illicit Spirits and accepted an ISGD Negroni Challenge, which required Sophia, Ian and Rachel to create a negroni each using one of the three Illicit Spirits Gins – Illicit London Dry, Illicit New Tom and the Illicit Blacklist Smoked.

Ian infused his bitters with 200ml of Campari together with 100g of fresh strawberries (quartered) and 5g of crushed Szechuan pepper, which was left in the fridge overnight before being strained. Ian then used equal 50ml measures of Illicit London Dry, Martini Rosso vermouth and the infused Campari garnished with an orange zest twist.

Sophia opted for a white negroni riff featuring 60ml of Illicit New Tom, 40ml of Mancino Vermouth Sakura, 20ml of Suze and 5ml of Conker’s Cold Brew Tea Liqueur, which was stirred over ice before being strained into a chilled rocks glass and garnished with sprig of thyme.

Rachel took on the complex Illicit Blacklist Smoked Gin, going with 50ml of Gin, 50ml of Cocchi, 50ml of Campari and 10ml of Audemus Spirits Covert, which was stirred in a mixing glass with ice before being poured. The garnish was a burnt wedge of orange.

The Borders Distillery William Kerr’s Borders Gin ISGD Foragers Seltzer

The Borders Distillery, producers of William Kerr’s Borders Gin, sent out an ISGD Foragers Seltzer pack to a variety of people in the gin community. The pack consisted of William Kerr’s Borders Gin and a carbonation kit for creating a carbonated drink. The brief was to forage some local ingredients and create a William Kerr’s Borders Gin ISGD cocktail. All manner of drinks were created using local botanicals including lemon mint and dill from Kat Whyte and Ed Tales created a gin and damson hard seltzer.

New Scottish Gins launched on ISGD 2021

International Scottish Gin Day 2021 also provided a day for the launch of new products from Raven Spirits who launched their new Voyager Gift Pack. Featuring their range of award-winning gins including Valhalla, Thought & Memory, Valkyrie and Cranachan, the new bespoke gift box has been a year in the making.

International Scottish Gin Day 2021 also saw the official launch of Lemon Fest Gin from Shetland Reel. Part of their seasonal festive gin releases, Lemon Fest Gin features fresh lemon peel, balanced with a sprinkle of cinnamon deliveing a zesty, bright and aromatic gin with piney juniper, rich sweet spice and a touch of herbal lemon balm.

International Scottish Gin Day 2021 Official Sponsors

Our official sponsors who form part of the Scottish Gin and wider drinks and spirits category supply chain joined us along with a few of our Scottish Gin members as part of our International Scottish Gin Day 2021 Supply Chain Virtual Round Table. Each discussing their role in the supply chain, how spirits brands can work smarter and what to look for in a supply chain partner and more. We’re once again extremely grateful for the fantastic support our official sponsors provide and contribute to International Scottish Gin Day year on year.

Watch the International Scottish Gin Day 2021 Supply Chain Virtual Round Table here.

Discover more about our International Scottish Gin Day 2021 Official Sponsors

Flexi-Hex – Learn more here.

Friends of Anchor – Learn more here.

Image On Glass – Learn more here.

iStill – Learn more here.

Joseph Flach & Sons – Learn more here.

Libbey – Learn more here.

Rankin Brothers & Sons – Learn more here.

Reid Advertising & Design – Learn more here.

Scottish Gin Awards – Learn more here.

The Gin Cooperative – Learn more here.

Vetroelite – Learn more here.

Windmill Printing – Learn more here.

International Scottish Gin Day 2021 Official Supporters

Our official supporters went all out and collaborated, created and published a mixture of content across their blogs, websites and social media channels including reviews, interviews and live online events, fantastic photos, videos, cocktails and more. As always we were totally humbled by the support from our official supporters who year on year always make a great effort to help support and celebrate ISGD, showcasing Scotland’s gin makers and brands with their collaborative and creative approach each year. 

Brim & Tonic – Learn more here.

Dan Eats – Learn more here.

From The Gin Shelf – Learn more here.

Gin On The Tyne – Learn more here.

Ginsmagic – Learn more here.

Ginteresting Times – Learn more here.

Jenny in Brighton – Learn more here.

Julian Vallis – Learn more here.

Juniper Chick – Learn more here.

Love Gin & Rex – Learn more here.

Manchester Food Tourist – Learn more here.

Nic’s Gin & Beer – Learn more here.

On The Sauce Again – Learn more here.

Scottish Mixology – Learn more here.

Sipping & Styling – Learn more here.

The Cocktail Blog – Learn more here.

The Gin Shelf – Learn more here.

The Ginasium – Learn more here.

Under The Ginfluence – Learn more here.

What’s Katie Doing – Learn more here.

International Scottish Gin Day 2021 Official Scottish Gin Brands

The official Scottish Gin brands of International Scottish Gin Day 2021 are the gin makers and brands who support The Gin Cooperative throughout the year thanks to their membership fee. They are the brands who have chosen to support The Gin Cooperative and share our values and ethos, collectively we all work together to further the reputation of Scottish Gin as a premium spirit made in Scotland with care, craft and passion. We’re always grateful to our members who make the time and effort to help celebrate International Scottish Gin Day through their social media channels and content along with their websites including offers and promotions, events, tastings and tours as part of International Scottish Gin Day.

A big thanks to: 1881 Distillery, Alexander’s Gin, Arbikie, Arcturus Gin, Avva Scottish Gin, Badachro Gin, Brewdog Distilling Co., Beinn an Tuirc Distillers, Cairngorm Gin Company, City of Aberdeen Distillery, Colonsay Beverages, Crafty Distillery, Crossbill Distilling, Darnley’s Gin, Dunnet Bay Distillers, Edinburgh Gin, El:gin, Electric Spirit Co., Ellis Gin, Fidra Gin, Gin Bothy, Glaswegin, GlenWyvis, Hendrick’s Gin, Highland Liquor Company, Holyrood Distillery, Ice & Fire Distillery, Illicit Spirits, Inshriach, Inspirited Distillery, Isle of Cumbrae Distillers, Isle of Harris Distillers, Isle of Skye Distillers, Kelso Gin Company, Kinrara Distillery, Lenzie Gin, Linlithgow Distillery, Little Brown Dog Spirits, Loch Lomond Group, Lost Loch Spirits, Lussa Drinks Company, Mackintosh Gin, Makar, McLean’s Gin, McQueen Gin, North Uist Distillery Co., Orkney Distilling, Orkney Gin Company, Pentland Hills Gin, Persie Distillery, Pickering’s Gin, Pixel Spirits, Port of Leith Distillery, Raven Spirits, Roehill Springs Distillery, Shetland Reel, Shoogle Spirits, Snawstorm Spirits, SOS Gin, Sutors, The Biggar Gin Co., The Biggar Gin Co., The Borders Distillery, The Botanist, The Gael Spirits Company, King’s Hill Gin, The Secret Garden Distillery, The Teasmith, The Wee Farm Distillery, Tobermory Distillery, Tyree Gin, Whitetail Spirits and all the other Scottish Gin producers and brands who helped celebrate the day.

Learn more about the Official Scottish Gin brands of International Scottish Gin Day 2021 here.

We’re grateful to everyone who made the time to celebrate International Scottish Gin Day 2021 and helped showcase Scotland’s brilliant gin industry. We’re still discovering venues, events and content across the various social media channels and it means a lot to see bartenders, mixologists, owners and hospitality taking part, especially after what the global hospitality industry has been through, with many still not over the worst of the global pandemic; it’s amazing seeing all the love for Scottish Gin.

International Scottish Gin Day has never been about a single event, brand or person. It’s a day that was established to help put the focus solely on Scotland’s fantastic gin industry and the businesses, people and gin community that champion Scottish Gin as a brand. It’s a platform for Scottish Gin brands and producers to use to showcase their products. For bars, hospitality and retailers to use to help generate footfall to their venues, shops and online stores. It’s an opportunity for everyone to learn, talk, enjoy and discover Scottish Gin.

As announced last year Interntaional Scottish Gin Day will take place on the first Saturday in October each year so make sure you save the date for International Scottish Gin Day 2022 – Saturday 1st of October.