Raise a glass to the best of drinks

Dis­tillers, brew­ers and blenders line up for The Scots­man’s new show­case of food and drink

The Scotsman - - Around Scotland -

There will be plenty to toast at The Scots­man’s new foodie event this au­tumn in Ed­in­burgh. Gin, whisky, vodka and craft ales will be in the mix when some of the UK’S finest pro­duc­ers gather for the Scot­land Food & Drink Show at Inglis­ton on 14-15 Oc­to­ber.

It won’t, how­ever, all be al­co­holic drinks on show at the free-to-at­tend two-day event; al­ready tea spe­cial­ist PMD is mak­ing prepa­ra­tion to ex­hibit its teas im­ported di­rectly from Cey­lon

PM David Silva & Sons was es­tab­lished in 1945 in the fer­tile Maske­liya Val­ley and has grown from a small in­de­pen­dent tea shop for tea plan­ta­tion work­ers to be­come a spe­cial­ist tea trans­porter and plan­ta­tion sup­plier. Three gen­er­a­tions on, the fam­ily firm im­ports hand-plucked and eth­i­callysourced teas into the UK.

Bring­ing a drink from a lit­tle closer to home will be Laprig Val­ley. The farm­based pro­ducer from Green­law in Ber­wick­shire uses tra­di­tional meth­ods to cre­ate pure fresh ap­ple juice.

With gin be­ing the spirit of the mo­ment, it is hardly sur­pris­ing that some of Scot­land’s finest gin dis­tillers are lin­ing up to be at what is set to be one of high­lights of the foodie cal­en­dar this au­tumn.

The Wine & Spirit Trade As­so­ci­a­tion re­ported gin sales broke the £1 bil­lion mark in the on and off-trade for the first time in the UK last year.

Pick­er­ings has been adding to that growth with its gin made at Sum­mer­hall Dis­tillery in what was once the Dick Vet School in Ed­in­burgh. It’s not all se­ri­ous stuff and by Oc­to­ber – with Christ­mas firmly on the hori­zon – we hope founders Mar­cus Pick­er­ing and Matt Gam­mell will pack some of their clever lit­tle Gin Baubles for the show

An­other dis­tiller lined up for the show is Black­ford Craft Dis­tillery. This fam­ily-run mi­crodis­tillery based in a 19th cen­tury farm steading near In­verurie in Aberdeen­shire, launched Ves­peris, a botan­i­cal vodka this sum­mer

Dis­tilled like gin, us­ing or­ganic grain spirit, or­ganic heather honey, wild har­vested heather and sea­sonal or­ganic ap­ples, the vodka can be sipped neat or used in cock­tails.

And the word is that a Ves­peris gin will be out in the au­tumn, with am­bi­tions to use ap­ples from the Simes’ own or­chard in a Scot­tish Cal­va­dos in the fu­ture.

An­other spirit spe­cial­ist to look out for is In Vodka Ver­i­tas. It spe­cialises in in­fus­ing the vodka with fine in­gre­di­ents – cre­at­ing fruity to quirky savoury flavours.

Eden Mill at Guard­bridge in Fife makes gin, whisky and craft ales. Although the show might be too soon to sam­ple its maiden sin­gle malt whisky which is due to be re­leased next year, Eden Mill’s in­trigu­ing gins and cre­ative ales are more than enough rea­son to raise a glass to the Scot­land Food & Drink Show.

The Scots­man has teamed up with with some of Scot­land’s lead­ing grow­ers, pro­duc­ers and re­tail­ers so the two-day event will see busi­nesses – both small and large – demon­strat­ing why they are the best.

“And there is still time for any­one in the food and drink in­dus­try to get in­volved,” says show or­gan­iser Re­becca Thomp­son, who can be con­tacted on 0131 311 7237.

There will be tast­ings and demon­stra­tions – just as you would ex­pect at any good food show, but what will make The Scots­man’s event unique will be themed areas – in­clud­ing a ded­i­cated chil­dren’s area and ca­reers’ fair.

Although the em­pha­sis of the Scot­land Food & Drink Show is all about en­joy­ing food and drink, there will be chance to learn more about the in­dus­try and its ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties.

There will be a ca­reers space where the food­ies of the fu­ture will be able to find out about work­ing in the in­dus­try.

Ad­vice will be avail­able about work­ing in hos­pi­tal­ity, farm­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing from both col­leges and train­ing providers, as well as pro­fes­sion­als who are forg­ing suc­cess­ful ca­reers them­selves.

An ex­cit­ing line-up of chefs, pro­duc­ers and dis­tillers will be shar­ing their se­crets in a packed pro­gramme of cook­ing demon­stra­tions and mas­ter classes.

The Scots­man is work­ing with spon­sors and ex­hibitors to cre­ate a great fam­ily day out and with Loth­ian Buses as a part­ner there will be a free bus ser­vice from the city cen­tre to the venue, the Royal High­land Cen­tre, Inglis­ton.

Watch out for more de­tails of the Scot­land Food & Drink Show 2017 as we count down to the event over the com­ing weeks.

Craft dis­tillers and brew­ers will be at the Royal High­land Cen­tre, Inglis­ton in Oc­to­ber.

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