Herald View: Why Scottish gin should be made in Scotland
There is a reason why you want your ham to be from Parma, your pastie from Cornwall and your black pudding from Stornoway.
These EU protected status products are a real guarantee of quality. They are also a reassuring reminder that our food and drink is made by real people in real places with real care.
Scotch beef, Scotch lamb and Scotch whisky all still carry a cache for shoppers at home and abroad. But what of booming Scottish gin?
Many drinkers, perhaps because Scotland’s global reputation for making spirits, do see “Scottish gin” as a mark of quality. They may need to be cautious.
Some start-up “distillers” are making their gin in England or further afield. Their products may be inspired by the flavours of the Highlands and Islands – but they are made in the less romantic industrial estates of London and Birmingham. This is far from made obvious to consumers.
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In a global market, when manufacturers are sourcing ingredients from around the world, there are legitimate grey areas around provenance, especially for a product like gin.
However, Scotland the brand has to be protected. Some of the new gins on the market – wherever they made – show real promise. But if they want name themselves after Scottish islands they should be able to show a tangible connection to those islands.