Last Updated on January 4, 2023
Island Gin blending Earth and Sea Botanicals and the Devil’s Own Cocktail
One of the more interesting aspects of artisan gin to me is how the herbs evoke memories. Not always, of course. However, with a heritage that brings me back to Skye and Mull, I was eager to try Isle of Skye gin, 57° Skye Earth and Sea. With a distillery and visitor center in Broadford, at the foot of Beinn na Caillich on the Isle of Skye opening in 2022, while I can’t claim it’s a taste of home, it was where my grandfather’s and great-grandfather’s families lived. Just to keep the family going, the trumpet pictured was a gift from my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding – overlooking the sea on the edge of Duart Castle on Mull. They served mead during their wedding ceremony. If there is a next time, I recommend switching to Skye Gin!
Seumas Gorman, head distiller is a native of the Isle of Skye, who has used his unique heritage to explore new blends of plants, seaweed and native kelp, while the owner of the business, Séamus Ó Baoighill, is also a native of Skye and the world-famous Gàidhlig Musician . On my list for the next time I head North I want to find out more about the distillery and visitor center.
57 degrees (GPS coordinates of the island) has a blend of herbs that includes the classics (juniper, coriander, angelica, lemon and pomelo zest, ginger root, orris root, liquorice root, almonds and pink pepper) with some unique local ingredients (rowan berry , heather, malt spring barley and laminaria digitata dry and smoked, together with heather blossoms).
The resulting gin is actually quite drinkable like a good whiskey or brandy. If you’ve never tried sipping and sipping gin before adding tonic or using it in cocktails, I urge you to think again. The essence of a good artisan gin is to understand terroir, like a good wine. So feel free to sip and enjoy before you serve it any other way. Then try it with a good quality tonic and a garnish you think would complement the gin (I suggest a slice of orange). Lastly, you may want to enjoy a cocktail.
This gin has a fresh and full-flavored sweet citrus – juniper blended with spicy notes of the earth and umami of the sea.
I’m almost reluctant to make it into a cocktail, but I think this particular serving, without the tonic to dilute the fine gin and with Cointreau to complement the citrus notes in the gin, is the best way to enjoy 57° Skye Earth and Sea that stifles the idea of driving after a sip! The Devil’s Own cocktail was created in the United Kingdom in 1937 by Colin Symons and first published in 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book, Coronation Edition, which was an anthology of popular cocktails at the time compiled by the head bartender at Café Royal, William Tarling. The original called for equal parts gin, vermouth and Cointreau, but today’s serving has more gin making it less sweet though no less heady.
Besides having all the necessary ingredients, I really enjoy this very simple and elegant drink. Served in a classic coupe glass, it makes an excellent drink for a cold winter’s night – but will work just as well after a meal as a digestive.
Gin and Cointreau cocktail from the 1930’s
cocktail, Cointreau, gin, Vermouth
Calories: 180 kcal
Fill a mixing glass with ice
Add gin, vermouth and Cointreau with a dash of bitters
Strain into a chilled coupe glass
Serve with a slice of lemon or orange zest.
You can buy 57° Skye Gin from their website. They currently have two expressions – the 57° Skye Earth and Sea, London Dry which I’ve used here and the cask finished gin which I haven’t tried yet but which I suspect will be perfect for sipping as it has been rested in a French Oak Keg which was previously liqueured. loud Banyul. Both gins are award winners and both come in a variety of sizes.