Drinks Enthusiast: Tasting notes and cocktail ideas for traditional Scottish gin Caorunn

By David Marsland, Drinks Enthusiast

MM columnist and Drinks Enthusiast, David Marsland, explains the revivial in small, traditional spirits and shares with us a delicious gin-based cocktail recipe.

One Scottish gin which has been around for the past few years has been causing a stir in this particular market recently, and that gin is Caorunn.

Caorunn is inspired by Celtic tradition with the use of five Celtic botanicals – a traditional gin plant and handcrafting process.

Their unique copper berry chamber is used to infuse the carefully-chosen blend of six traditional gin botanicals and five Celtic botanicals.

All this happens at the Balmenach Distillery which itself is one of the oldest distilleries in the Speyside region.

It is a small-batch distilled gin controlled by the Gin Master, Simon Buley.

A small batch is usually 1,000 litres and use pure grain spirit instead of the more widely used molasses.

This pure grain spirit ensures Caorunn’s high quality.

Once distilled three times, the pure grain spirit is vaporised twice through the round copper-framed chamber.

Spreading the eleven botanicals over four trays in the chamber allows the grain spirit vapour to meet the botanicals on the largest possible surface during the infusion process.

The five celtic botanicals used are rowan berry, bog myrtle, heather, coul blush apple and dandelion leaf.

These are used in addition to the six traditional botanicals which include juniper,
coriander seed, orange peel, lemon peel, angelica root and cassia bark.

With this combination it produces a really interesting gin.

Caorunn – 41.8%

Lively on the nose with lots of floral and citrus aromas dancing well. Rather sharp on the palate when it first hits that develops into a long finish with hints of aniseed that dries a little.

With the dryness of Caorunn, it’s perfect for many a cocktail including a martini and your classic gin and tonic.

The Caorunn Manzangria cocktail is a delicious tipple that takes us nicely into autumn/winter.

Caorunn Manzangria


50ml Caorunn Gin
Top Fentimans tonic water
25ml Orange juice
75ml Red wine


Add gin, red wine and orange juice to glass with cubed ice.

Stir, add garnishes of tightly tied cinnamon stick, lemon slices, orange slices and apple slices, top with tonic water, then grate nutmeg over the top.

A simple serve that not only looks good, but can also be enjoyed as a punch to share with friends and family.

For more Caorunn cocktail ideas visit their Facebook page.

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