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Edinburgh Fringe 2017

The Art and Science of Gin

Edinburgh Gin

Genre: Interactive, Talk

Venue: 99 Hanover Street


Low Down

Edinburgh Gin invites you to step inside the world of gin like never before, exploring the illustrious history and modern resurgence of the spirit. You’ll embark upon a journey spanning three centuries; from the historical beginnings of Edinburgh’s gin craze in the 1700s to the global search for botanicals and the modern-day distillation process. Using projection mapping technology, this show will immerse you in the art and science of gin, exciting your senses with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the gin-making process.


Edinburgh Gin presents an entertaining, educational and esculant journey through the history of gin making in Auld Reekie.  Using video as a visual aide, we learn the evolution of the spirit from household necessity to flavoured liqueur.

Gin Production in Edinburgh goes back to the 18th Century when housewives would produce buckets of harsh tasting gin for the family’s daily use.  By 1877 there were 8 legal and nearly 400 independent (and illegal) distilleries in Edinburgh alone.  Tragedy, local politics and competition whittled the number of distilleries from the hundreds to the dozens.  But with regulation came increased production and better quality gin that was shipped from Leith to London, Europe and beyond.

In the 19th Century, the distillation process took its giant leap forward when Robert Stein invented an new, more efficient design for stills allowing for a more refined, better tasting product.

More recent introduction of botanicals to flavor the gin has allowed the brand to broaden its appeal from the traditional London Dry gin that is popular around the world to the flavored gin liqueurs.  From seaweed to lemongrass, it seems almost anything is capable of flavoring the spirit.

  • Limes were used as a garnish by the Royal Navy to help ward off scurvy in their sailors.
  • The choice of tonic is the most important part of the drink.
  • The ideal ration is one-part gin to two-parts tonic.
  • After falling out of fashion in the early 20th Century, gin has experienced a resurgence in recent years, thanks to innovative Master Distillers using modern chemistry and the latest innovations in gin production.

Our host from Edinburgh Gin leads the journey, guiding us thoughtfully through the accessible samples of botanicals and tastings of their products.  His delivery is well rehearsed, sprinkled with local humor.  In the land known for single malts and beer, gin has found a home in the Scottish capital, broadening the local reputation as an innovator.

This presentation is a wonderful way to spend a rainy (or even a sunny) afternoon at the fringe.  One leaves the 40-minute program with a gentle bounce in their step and a sincere appreciation for yet another facet of Scottish history.