>> Whiskey takes three years to mature, and some distillers have found something lucrative to do while they wait. Making quality gin. Hundreds of artisan distilleries have opened in the last few years as demand for the spirit soars in the UK. In particular, some Scottish distilleries are racing ahead, such as the one I visited in Strathearn.
Demand for gin is booming because it's endlessly versatile and adaptable to all tastes and demographics. But in fact, it's true that demand for spirits has increased as the variety of spirits on offer has widened. And many distilleries, because they're offering something which is unique to them, have a special selling point that attracts consumers who are looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary.
As tastes move away from big brands like Gordons, new generation gin makers are using unexpected ingredients, among them seaweed, christmas pudding, or ants. For those who were already whiskey makers, the venture is perfect. Both spirits are made with the same machines, and unlike whiskey, gin only takes a week to bottle.
As a result, Scotland now produces 70% of the UK's gin, but UK whiskey sales are still worth twice as much, and for these distillers still worth waiting for.