First things first - what is a Bothy?
Bothies are located all over Scotland and Ireland and can range from a basic shelter to a small stone built house.
Highland Bothies are usually located in remote areas and are left open for weary travellers to seek shelter if the weather turns wild.
Farm Bothies (like ours!) were traditionally home to unmarried farm labourers and estate workers specifically in the Northeast region of Scotland, when farms were worked with men and horses. When the young men (Bothy loons) got married they moved out of the Bothy and into a farm cottage.
Bothies can be found in other parts of the world. For example in Nordic countries they are called Wilderness huts whilst on the Isle of Lewis a Bothy was once a semi-legal drinking den!
Where is the Bothy?
Our very own bothy is nestled away in the rolling hills of the Angus Glens in Scotland.
How did it all start?
Jam! The bothy was the home of all our jam creations and started out as The Jam Bothy, we even won a World Jampionship competition for old fashioned tasty jam! Whilst making so much jam using local berries grown within minutes of our bothy, we found we had an excess of fresh berry juice. We decided to put the juice to use and started experimenting with the infusion process using gin. The Gin Bothy was born!
The fruit is soaked in the gin for up to 3 months and hand turned daily until the maceration of the fruit gives us the rich flavour. We then filter off the fruit and use this in our 'Merry Berry' and 'Raspberry and Gin' jam so there's no waste!
Gin has a strong Scottish heritage and actually outdates Whisky. We followed an old farmers wife (known as the 'Guid wife') recipe and follow the farms Seasonal Foraging Calendar for infusion inspiration.
Where does the fruit & other ingredients come from?
We use Scottish produce to create our infused gins. The berries used in our Raspberry and Blueberry gins are picked from the surrounding fields and our Rhubarb is grown in our bothy's garden.
The abundance of Angus and Perthshire fruits allow us to work throughout the year with the best fruit. Raspberries through to Blueberries then Cherries then Rhubarb all way the back to late autumn raspberries, until the Sloes appear.
Our Chilli Gin is infused with fresh chillies from Scotland's first chilli farm in Fife.
Amaretto, Mulled & Gunshot are a bit different as we don't grow the ingredients but use the same age old process to infuse. Our signature Mulled Gin was created after trying to find a festive warming drink to replace Mulled wine for those who don't like wine (including me!)
Do the gins come in different sized bottles?
Not at the moment. Our Bothy Original, Mulled/Gunshot and Limited Edition Maple Syrup Gin are the only flavours that come in a larger 70cl bottle for now, the rest are in 50cl bottles, although we are looking into different sizes.
Who is behind Gin Bothy?
Kim. Yes me!
I often describe myself as the "Accidental Gin Maker." The Bothy was never created for the sole purpose of gin, but since I began sampling my creations 3 years ago at Peel Farm's gift shop and local shows I've never looked back! Unlike other fruit gins that are out there, I use whole fresh local fruits and although it takes time (and a lot of hand-turning) it's worth it for the rich flavour that's created. A special drink that needs to be enjoyed with friends!
The Bothy is traditional, solid and represents a more simple time. Although life was hard, our local produce was celebrated and shared and that's what I hope can be done with Gin Bothy.
We like to recycle too so if you bring your empty bottle back to the Bothy you'll get money off your next (a grown up Bonaccord!)
Any other flavours in the pipeline?
We're always experimenting in the bothy so there may be new flavours in the pipeline.