I’ll start this post off a little differently and give you the story of the gin before going into the combos… The simple reason behind this is that all the gins featured are from the Maker gin range…. It is also almost the entire Makar range with the exception of one gin.
Makar has come about like so many Scottish gins… The whisky guys needed money while they waited on the whisky being ready so, for the first time in Glasgow, a gin was made.
Makar is very very juniper forward and they’re proud of this fact. Makar (meaning craftsman) have put together not only a stunning dry gin but also several amazing variants off the back of it as well as other things on the horizon.
The gin seven sides of the bottle represent the seven botanicals used in the original dry… Which I’ll discuss later.
Makar Old Tom with Fever Tree Clemantine and Cinnamon Tonic
This was a smashing combo. Makar Old Tom is a stunning gin. The lovely juniper flavour of the Makar Original is present in all it’s glory but with this beautiful sweetness brought in from the honey. Additionally they’ve added some orange peel which is why I decided to mix it with this particular tonic.
The sweetness of the Old Tom is complimented wonderfully with the lovely warming spice from the cinnamon in the tonic as well as the fact I garnished it with a little orange peel and a cinnamon stick.
This is a festive mix without being completely Christmas in a glass… It’s a subtle Christmas G&T.
Garnish – cinnamon and orange peel
RRP – £35
ABV – 43%
G&T Score – 9/10
Makar Cherry Gin and Thomas Henry Cherry Blossom Tonic
It’s important to note that this is a cherry gin… Not a gin liqueur. Essentially what Makar have done here is taken their original gin and fired some seasonal cherries and pink peppercorns into it and then left them to infuse and become a dream… Luckily that’s exactly what happened.
I’m not one for buying flavoured gins but I have this so I think that says something in itself.
Before anyone panics its not a super strong taste of cherry but a subtle hint and nod towards the fact that there have been cherries in it at one point… Its lovely.
I mixed it with a tonic that I’d never ever tried before. Thomas Henry was a new brand on me but I picked this up specifically for this gin. I tasted the tonic and, without going into it too much as I’ll sort the tonics out in a tonic post early in the new year, I didn’t like it… The tonic on its own wasn’t for me… However, mixed with this gin its a whole new world! This was fantastic!! Fresh and fruity but still full of the juniper that Makar always leads with… Amazing.
Garnish – cherries
RRP – £25 (50cl)
ABV – 40%
G&T Score – 9/10
Makar Mulberry Aged Gin with Schweppes 1783 Muscavado Tonic
I know I said with the cherry gin that I don’t like flavoured gins but that I have that etc… But thing is… I don’t like aged gins either but I have this one so that must mean its the best… Or certainly up there!
This guy has won multiple awards for cask/aged gins and I can tell you right now its earned it… Makar also do another aged gin but this is by far the king. Once the gin is made its then left for ten weeks in a virgin mulberry cask to age. This is honestly a stunning gin.
I decided to mix it with this tonic as the tonic itself says to mix with darker spirits… Now I fully appreciate it probably means rum or something but I don’t have that… I have Makar Mulberry Aged gin so thats what I’m using!
This is, without doubt, the gin of the GinVent so far… I HAVE to find this tonic for this gin… Like I absolutely must. The sweetness of the tonic is something that I was aware would be there given its muscavado but I wasn’t sure how well it would pair with the gin… Perfectly thats how well. I kid you not this is a mix you need to try and will likely change how you mix aged gins going forward. The other flavour I noted was it was almost reminiscent of maple syrup once mixed…. Absolutely amazing… Please go and buy this gin and this tonic and then drink them and smile.
Garnish – Lemon peel and rosemary
RRP – £35
ABV – 43%
G&T Score – 10/10
Makar Original Dry Gin with Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic
The Makar Original Dry is my favourite of the Makar range. A classic gin with tons of juniper it pairs well with almost anything. One of the things I love most about this gin is the fact it doesn’t garnish with fruit… Instead Makar recommend green chilli. If you let the chilli sit in the gin for about ten minutes or so prior to adding ice and tonic the gin really takes on a wonderful fiery heat.
Botanicals include liquorice, lemon, black peppercorns, angelica root, cassia bark and rosemary. Its a stunning gin and I promise you if you like “ginny gins” you’ll adore this. It’s one of the absolute best.
For this GinVent I’ve paired it with aromatic tonic as recommended by the Gin Foundry’s “A Little Book On… Gins, Tonics & Garnishes”.
I like this… I must admit that aromatic tonic is fast becoming a favourite of mine. I think I prefer it with light tonic (how many times have I said that during this event?!) but I would honestly have this again as the slight sweetness balances out the chilli spectacularly.
Garnish – Chilli and rosemary
RRP – £35
ABV – 43%
G&T Score – 7/10
So that’s it for another GinVent post. The first of the Scottish Gins and it couldn’t really start any other way than with Makar. The rest up to and including Christmas day will be Scottish so I hope you enjoy seeing some of the finest Scottish gins in my collection and hopefully we can do some fun things with them that might inspire you to try something a little different.