Trend readers are switched on to all the latest, er, trends but does that include the revolution in gin production? Hardly a day goes by without a new gin hitting the market, despite its image in days of yore as so-called mother’s ruin.

Ruin or not, one label of particular interest in Aberdeen is Porter’s Gin which is partly produced in the basement of the Orchid cocktail bar in the city’s Langstane Place, a self-styled glossy late-night spot open until 2am. It is the first juniper-based gin spirit to be distilled in Aberdeen in 100 years and Ben Iravani, managing director of the Langstane Liquor Company which produces the gin, leaves you in no doubt about what an exciting adventure it was to bring the project to fruition by December 2015.


‘Myself and colleagues Josh Rennie and Alex Lawrence were tired of tasting the unbalanced/one-dimensional gins of the ‘craft’ movement, so we set out to create a new gin recipe that paid homage to the core principles of traditional gin distillers but utilised modern distilling techniques’, he says.

Ben adds, ‘We wanted to create a true modern-classic and combine the best of the old with the best of the new. We spent a lot of time balancing unique botanicals with an innovate distillation process and the result gives Porter’s a classic juniper body with a unique citrus profile.

‘We were greatly helped by Aberdeen University’s Professor Andrew Porter, after whom the gin is named. Prof Porter helped us to source the cold-distillation equipment we needed to allow us to extract light refreshing flavours from twelve botanicals. Juniper has to be a principal ingredient of gin but after much experimentation we came across a citrus fruit called Buddha’s Hand from south China which became a key ingredient. It is sometimes described as a lemon with fingers. Inside the fruit, there is little or no flesh or juice. It is all rind and pith but it has a sweet floral fragrance.’ Next stop in the process is the more traditional distillation which is carried out in partnership with G&J Distillers in Warrington.’

Attendance at gin festivals throughout the UK is another essential part of the growth strategy and it is a reflection of the thriving gin scene in Aberdeen, that the team at Orchid are hosting a gin festival at the Lemon Tree in three sessions over the weekend of 7 and 8 July. For more details, see aberdeenginfest.co.uk

So here’s a toast to the trio behind Porter’s Gin. With backgrounds in mechanical engineering, law and the drinks industry, Ben, Alex and Josh have it all going for them. Next stop the world!

(Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

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