Tobermory Gin has launched in Ontario, and this Hebridean gin is as versatile as it is innovative.
Established in 1798, Tobermory is The Isle of Mull’s only whisky distillery. In 2019, they launched their Hebridean gin, which is flavoured with a splash of their whisky. It has gone on to win many accolades, including a Silver medal at the 2021 World Gin Awards. It is so exciting to hear of so many female Master Blenders at the helm, and this gin is the work of Julieann Fernandez. Recently named the Icons of Whisky Award Winner for Scotland, Juliann was one of the youngest ever to receive the award.
For this gin, Julieann has taken inspiration from the coastlines of Mull, and she’s put the distillery’s history and setting into the bottle. Hebridean tea, elderflower, wild heather, and soft herbs all give this gin a floral and bright character. There is much less juniper than in a typical London Dry gin. Instead, Tobermory’s mark of distinction is the rich maltiness on the nose and the creamy, smooth mouth feel it gets from the whisky. I found it exceptionally smooth, and we discovered its versatility in a variety of cocktails.
The Ontario Launch
For the Ontario launch of Tobermory, four of Toronto’s top bartenders created cocktails for some of the many occasions on which you might hope to savour the gin: a backyard barbecue, a cabana-inspired pool party, a dinner under the stars or a brunch. They were each given a mystery crate of ingredients with which to work, and the results were as varied as they were delicious. As a craft cocktail lover, I was thrilled to see the enormous variety of flavour profiles this gin made possible. And our very own Sonya helped to create the winning drink!
I say “winning.” The competition was a wonderful framework in which to sample so many ways to drink this gin. But surely choosing just one winner is a constraint we can confine to the night in question! Why limit yourself?! Take a look at the recipes below and see what strikes your fancy. There are so many ways to go, and so many occasions to suit. Tobermory Hebridean Gin is available at the LCBO for $49.95.
Love Takes Thyme
A Dinner Under the Stars cocktail created by Nishantha (Nish) Nepulongoda
INK Entertainment Group’s Master Mixologist, Sofia Yorkville
The winner of the first round of competition, and what a beauty! This was tart and fruity with bubbles to boot!
- 2 oz Tobermory Gin
- 1 oz lime juice
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 3/4 oz Raspberry simple syrup
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
- 1 oz sparkling wine
A poolside cabana inspired cocktail created by Sandy de Almeida
Head Bartender, The Drake Hotel
My personal favourite of the night, the cilantro pairs really well with this gin. This was a beautifully balanced cocktail that let the gin shine through but was long and refreshing. I will be making lots of these this summer.
- 2 oz Tobermory Gin
- 1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- Cardamom bitters
- Orange flower water
For many more recipes, check out the incredible variety made by Canadian bar tenders here.
For more on female master blenders, check out our recent post of other women at the helm of distilleries.