My name is Alexander Morrison but I go by the name Sandy (only the doctor calls me Alexander). I was born and bred in Dalkeith, on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
I have many passions in life but hill walking and Gin are two of them, I do my best to combine both. I have been an avid gin fan as long as my blurry memory goes back, slowly trying to work my way through every Scottish Gin, last count is in excess of 60. The story of my gin recipe really begins in the Pentland Hills.
At the time of conception, I was in the process of trying to bag every one of those hills, much like I am with Scottish gin bagging. I noted the wealth of botanicals growing right there under my nose, abundant brambles, sloes, heather, gorse, elder flower, rosehips, rowan, crab apples to name but a few… even a few patches of the beloved Juniper. Sat on the slopes of Caerketton Hill, overlooking Edinburgh and snacking on some of the new found berries, I knew I could make something glorious out of all this abundance right on my door step, all within a hop of the capital.
I came across King’s Hill whilst trawling over a map and marking good foraging spots, this perked my interest and resulted in me doing some historical digging. It turns out the very spot I was gathering a few botanicals from had a really incredible story behind it! I had to borrow it for my first product, King’s Hill. The story goes, King Robert the Bruce returned from exile in Ireland and was out celebrating with a fellow nobleman, Sir William St Clair of Roslin. (same place as Rosslyn Chapel, made famous from Da Vinci Code). Undoubtedly after too many ales (or gin, who knows!). Sir William St Clair proclaimed that he had seen a white stag scampering around the King’s Pentland estate, he would then go on to bet his own head he would catch it before the King. King Robert took the wager, his stake being his entire Pentland estate. They set off soon after with their faithful hounds. Thankfully for St Clair he prevailed and captured the stag, literally saving his own neck. The King heard the commotion and looked down to see the hunt finale, he ran down to congratulate St Clair who then named the spot where the King was standing in his honour, King’s Hill. The entire estate was now his after all! He also erected a chapel on the spot where he caught the deer, which is now submerged under Glencorse Reservoir. Rumour has it when the reservoir is very low the bell can be heard ringing in the wind. – The story is stamped on the side of my bottle.
“Help! Hold! gin ye may. Or Rosslyn tynes his head this day” – Sir William St Clair. (his two hounds were called Help and Hold)
On the nose: fresh, fruity with piney juniper
On the palate: smooth, sweet, full bodied and aromatic
On the finish: berry sweetness, with hints of liquorice, yet cooling.
Juniper, Orris Root, Lemongrass, Elderflower, Liquorice Root, Rosehip, Gorse flower, Heather, Angelica Root, Orange peel, Coriander and Cassia Bark.
Plenty Ice, Fevertree Mediterranean Tonic and healthy slice of grapefruit, add a sprig of purple heather if feeling funky!