Food & Drink

Wild for botanicals

The remote Scottish hideaway of Raasay was recently named one of the best islands in the world to visit in 2020, with Conde Nast Traveler’s trend report highlighting the island’s “sleek whisky distillery”. Opened to the public in January 2018, Raasay Distillery’s location in the Inner Hebrides is not only ruggedly scenic, but also perfectly set up for producing the ingredients for a superb gin.

Image: Calum Gillies

So, it figures that the distillery has now launched the island’s first Hebridean gin – well, its first legal gin anyway, as the island has the distinct Scottish quality of centuries of illicit distilling to its name. Raasay’s diverse geology lends itself to an array of natural botanicals suitable for gin distilling, which have been teamed with water from the distillery’s own well. A sip of the spirit reveals a zesty, dry gin with a fresh and aromatic nose and lasting aftertaste.

The gin’s botanicals include juniper, rhubarb root, lemon peel, orange peel, coriander seeds, angelica root, liquorice root, orris root, and cubeb pepper – and it’s best served as a classic G&T with a strip of orange zest. An Isle of Raasay Single Malt will follow in 2020, with the distillery making Scotch whisky history by being the first to release a legal Isle of Raasay malt.

£35 for a 70cl bottle,