Gin, jute and journalism – Verdant Gin, Dundee

By Niall Christie

A city once well known for it’s preserves, textile and writing industries, here at June & Winter we’re taking a look at a new product which usurps the jam and includes the jute. Meanwhile, we’ll have a go at the journalism.

Based in an area which was once one of the many hotbeds of the thriving jute industry in Dundee, Verdant Spirits and their 500 litre still, “Little Eddie”, have made a home for themselves in a city with as much character as the gin they have so far produced. The company have even put out a call for funding to open a “gin school”:

Walking in a semi-drunken stupor into the Glasgow’s Maggie May’s at the end of an evening in the Merchant City, as Dundonian living in Glaswegian-exile I could barely contain my excitement at seeing a shelf with Verdant’s Dry Gin on it. While this was a feeling that I was destined to repeat in Ashton Lane’s Brel on Monday evening having used Sunday as a day of detox, I doubt it will be long before I return for more.

The company’s London Dry offers a fresh taste and, served with a wedge of lime on these occasions, a powerful hit of liquorice which remains on the tongue long after the first sip. The lime pairs well with the other citrus botanicals on show while the Cassia Bark baffled me, holding a cinnamon-like quality that inebriated tastebuds could not distinguish at first, meaning I had to hazily look it up in the morning.

Verdant’s London Dry uses a blend of 10 botanicals: juniper, coriander seed, lemon peel, bitter orange, cassia bark, orris root, green cardamom, angelica, liquorice and grains of paradise.

Available now across Scotland and in a limited number of suppliers down south, Verdant is a welcome addition to the ever-growing number of craft gins across the country which are quickly catching up with the whisky market. Until now the map showed a blank spot in Dundee, with distillers in Angus and lowland Perthshire surrounding the city without a representative there. Now there is one, and they’re certainly worth their salt. Verdant Gin: literally putting Dundee on the gin map.

Verdant Gin is available on their website and in a number of stockists.

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