‘First’ Scottish hand-picked tea gin launches

13th December, 2016 by Annie Hayes

A husband and wife distilling team have created the “first” Scottish gin distilled with hand-picked tea, inspired by Aberdeenshire’s links to the tea trade.

teasmith-gin

The Teasmgith Gin is distilled in Perthshire’s Strathearn distillery

The brainchild of Nick and Emma Smalley from Udny Green in Aberdeenshire, The Teasmith Gin is distilled in Perthshire’s Strathearn distillery.

“Some of the world’s most notable tea-clippers were built in Aberdeen harbour, some of which played a major role in opening up the important tea trade routes with the Far East,” said Nick.

“But it was the story of a young man from Auchenblae, Aberdeenshire, who founded the first tea plantation in Sri Lanka in 1867 that intrigued us the most. James Taylor, known as the ‘Father of Ceylon Tea’, transformed the island into one of the finest tea growing regions in the world. This little-known tale really affirmed our decision to use tea as one of our key botanicals.”
The team worked with tea consultant Beverly-Claire Wainwright to source hand-rolled Ceylon tea from the Amba Estate in Sri Lanka.

To create the gin the tea is distilled and then blended with a gin recipe which includes juniper, coriander, and citrus peels.

“It was the first time the distillery had used tea as a botanical so it was a real step into the unknown,” said Emma. “The result is in the taste – a sweetness, like that of a high quality tea, with a subtle essence of mint.

“However, the gin doesn’t actually taste like tea – the tea leaves give a unique taste that is light on the palate with a distinct, crisp freshness, one of a kind really. So anyone who doesn’t like tea shouldn’t be put off!

“We’re planning to expand the Teasmith product range to further explore the unique flavours these specialty teas can truly offer.”

A 700ml bottle retails at £37.50 and can be purchased through selected retailers in Aberdeenshire and online.

Just 560 bottles are currently available, with plans to increase production over the coming year.

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