In choosing our main botanicals, we thought long and hard how we might capture the transformation people describe when making their short ferry journey from Largs to Cumbrae; an instant lifting of stress, to a feeling of calm serenity. Our first thought was Lavender.
Stress and anxiety are eased significantly by the properties of lavender. We love the calming floral fragrance of fresh lavender, which is held in its beautiful blue-violet flowers. The initial taste of lavender is attention grabbing, the exact opposite of the calming, relaxing sensation that the scent of the flower enhances. At first bite, lavender tastes exactly like it smells: a little bit like evergreen, a little bit like mint, and a little bit like flowers -- spicy flowers. Our intention in using lavender as one of our key botanicals is to awaken your senses with something fresh and light, to make you take notice of the ocean and the mountains surrounding you, take deep breaths of fresh, crisp, Scottish sea air.
We’ve paired the distinctive taste of lavender with our other main botanical, ripe, fresh bramble (also known as blackberry), a berry that dominates our island coast in September and is an abundant local resource for our gin. Rich in antioxidants, brambles have a deeper taste, sweet and succulent, with earthy undertones. We felt its complex flavours mirrored the transformation, taking you from an awakening of the senses to a feeling of utter peace and calm. According to English folklore, passing under a bramble branch could heal any sort of ailment and we think that a trip to Millport (and a sip of our gin), is a great way to heal the soul!
Finally, we chose a hint of sweet orange to complement the lavender and blackberry, to add a juicy, rich and flavourful blend to the main botanicals. We topped our recipe off with a bit of Scottish island magic; a dash of noble Scottish thistle for health and improved energy and a smidgen of heather, considered to bring good luck and protection.
When we set out to design our label, we knew we wanted something that would scream 'Scotland' - what better way than with a tartan! The Nostalgin tartan, which has been officially registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans (probably the only gin in the world with its own tartan), represents each of the colours of our botanicals” the bright pinky-purple of the Scottish thistle, the lilac hues of Scottish heather, the calming blue-violet of summer lavender and the rich plum of late summer brambles. We add in a line of orange and tie it together with green to represent the meadows and fields where these amazing plants grow.