Scottish Gin Awards – The Winners!

After much anticipation, the Scottish Gin Award winners were announced at a glitzy ceremony in Glasgow last week and we were delighted and honoured to be presenting one of the main awards of the evening for ‘Scottish Gin of the Year’.

With hosts Des Clarke and Catriona Shearer, over 500 guests gathered to hear the winners announced in 15 categories.

The top award, ‘Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year’, was presented to Arbikie Distilling after their mission to create spirits “from field to bottle” was praised by the judging panel.  The Arbroath-based farming family fought off seven other distilleries to win the award and they also collected the bronze medal position in the Cask Gin taste competition for their “Cask Aged Kirsty’s Gin.”

However, it was a new gin from Dundee which was the surprise star of the night.  Verdant Dry Gin, which created its first batch in May of this year, fought off competition from 16 other contenders to win the gold medal in the London Dry category and went on to win the judges prize for the best gin in the competition sponsored by Geraldo’s.  Owner and Managing Director, Toni, presented the award to a delighted Andrew Mackenzie and his wife Judy pictured below.

Other big winners were Edinburgh Gin who collected five medals and the Glasgow Distillery, makers of Makar Gin, who won two gold medals for Makar Old Tom and Makar Cask Aged Gin, Matured in Oak.  Popular and established producers such as Caorunn and Eden Mill also won medals, while some smaller batch new arrivals in the market barged into gold medal positions after scoring very highly.  NB Gin’s Navy Strength won gold for their super strength product while El-Gin from Elgin won gold for Distilled Gin of the Year.

Awards were also presented for business performance covering business growth, innovation and marketing with the popular Isle of Harris Distillery winning the highly sought-after Excellence in Branding award.

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners.  It was the perfect night to celebrate innovation and excellence in gin distilling in Scotland and recognise the hard-work of the people behind their gins.  We were thrilled to be part of it!  Congratulations also to founder Stephen White of The Scottish Gin Society and KD Media for an excellent evening.

We can safely say that the GINdustry is booming!

 

 

The Scottish Gin of the Year Award goes to….

…You’ll find out on Thursday! Geraldo’s is delighted to be sponsoring the Gin of the Year Award at the inaugural Scottish Gin Awards in Glasgow this week. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages to see who is the winner.

This is a new annual event which will celebrate innovation and excellence in gin distilling in Scotland and recognise the hard-work and determination of the people behind their gins. Did you know that 70% of the UK’s gin is made in Scotland? We’ll raise a G&T to that.

At the Scottish Gin Awards, the finalists include 28 gin producers and 51 gin brands shortlisted for a range of categories including Taste, Distillery of the Year and the award that we are sponsoring, Scottish Gin of the Year. We can’t wait to see who wins! The full list of finalists can be found here.

Who do you think will be the star of the show?

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What’s the best Scottish gin?

Geraldo's gin selection 3

Geraldo’s gin range!

The World Gin Awards were announced earlier this week with Hernö Gin from Sweden taking the prestigious title of The World’s Best Gin 2017.  And with the Scottish Gin Awards being launched in September this year, we were wondering, what do you think is the best Scottish gin?

Scotland now produces over 70% of the gin consumed in the UK and exports are predicted to outsell Scotch whisky by 2020.  That is huge!  In fact over the festive period Brits spent a whopping £136 million on gin.  They certainly had a gin-tastic Christmas!

In Geraldo’s of Largs we now stock over 40 artisan gins in various sizes.  We have a gin from every corner of Scotland; each with their distinct taste and their own blend of local botanicals.  Come and discover your best Scottish gin!

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In fact, what better way to try a wide range of gins than to come to Geraldo’s Gin Fest in November 2017?  Last year was a sell-out success with lots of happy gin fans and even those who were new to gin found something that they loved.  Tickets will be on sale very soon!  Sign up to our newsletter to be one of the first to hear about it.

 

Business of the Year 2016!

What a year we’ve had so far.  We are over the moon to announce that we have won the Association of Scottish Businesswomen National Business Award for Business of the Year 2016!

Presenter and judge, Lyndsay Darroch from Blackadders Solicitors

At a glittering Awards Dinner in Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel on Friday 2nd September, we were up against some fantastic businesses from across Scotland.  Toni was surprised and delighted when the ASB announced that she had won Business of the Year 2016.  She was joined by colleagues from the AABW (Ayrshire Association of Business Women) to support the finalists across 9 categories, with Ayrshire business women having another incredible year and picking up 3 awards on the night.

The ASB is an umbrella organisation for a number of business and professional women’s clubs throughout Scotland.  They work with government, enterprise organisations and businesses to further the interests of women in business, the professions and the voluntary sector. ASB members come from every sector, age group, and level of experience and responsibility.

These awards acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of successful female entrepreneurs, business and professional women on a national level and we are truly privileged to be recognised by the ASB.

On accepting her award Toni said: “The awards system was a catalyst last year for making changes this year and really helped me focus on a new direction for my business.”

Toni accepting her award

We have so many exciting development plans in the pipeline over the coming months and this is just the start.

Congratulations goes to all of the amazing finalists and award winners and a huge thank you to all the judges and organisers for such a super ceremony.

4 Star Award by Visit Scotland

4 Star Tourist Shop Logo

We are delighted to announce that Visit Scotland has awarded us an amazing 4 stars in their Quality Assurance Scheme within the tourist shop sector.

Visit Scotland’s Quality Assurance scheme is a benchmark for quality across the tourism industry and operates across accommodation, visitor attractions and food sectors.

Once a business signs up to be part of the scheme, an assessor visits the shop unannounced and under the tourist shop category grades three main aspects of the business: pre-arrival; arrival; and attraction/presentation.  Under these headings they assessed our online presence, the exterior appearance and signage of the shop, the interior orientation, decor and layout, the range and presentation of products and the general appearance, attitude and efficiency of the staff.  

The feedback we got from the Visit Scotland Assessor was fantastic and we are over the moon with our Four Star rating!

Given that this Quality Assurance Scheme is recognised on an international level, we are honoured to be part of it and look forward to working more closely with Visit Scotland over the coming years.

Ice Cream Day with Geraldo’s

President Ronald Reagan announced a national holiday to celebrate ice cream back in 1984. His intention was to promote the economic well-being of the US Dairy Industry and he called on everyone to pay tribute to ice cream with “appropriate ceremonies and activities”. To this day, National Ice Cream Day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday in July, not only in the USA but also here in the UK. Needing no excuse, we raised a Geraldo’s ice cream cone to celebrate!

Me and Sweet Caroline

Ice cream has certainly changed since 1984 with a rise of artisan producers and a growing range of amazing and unusual flavours. Our own brand of Geraldo’s ice cream has been produced by Toni and Sweet Caroline for 11 years in the smallest production unit in Scotland (at the back of the shop). Named after Toni’s late father, Geraldo’s has won numerous awards for creative flavour combinations including gluten free options. Have a look at Toni’s account of ‘The Story of Geraldo’s ice cream’ for the inside scoop on how it all started.

Having worked with Italian MasterChef Antonio Losita last month, Toni has developed some fantastic new flavours, including Lemon Sorbet, Pear Cheesecake and Raffaello. Sweet Caroline, at 71 years, still makes most of the ice cream on-site. After 11 years of making Geraldo’s ice cream, the busiest day ever was in June this year when Caroline made 180 litres of ice cream by hand from 10am until 11:30pm.  At the end of that night, she was captured on camera dancing in the shop to Michael Jackson’s, ‘Don’t Blame it on the Sunshine’. Proof, if any was needed, that happiness is ice cream.

Happy Ice Cream DAY!

 

 

Sugar & Spice shortlisted for the ASB Business of the Year 2016

We’re delighted to announce that Sugar & Spice (Largs) has been shortlisted as a finalist for Business of the Year in the annual Association of Scottish Businesswomen (ASB) Awards 2016.

ASB Awards logo

Toni’s interview and presentation to the judging panel takes place in Edinburgh on Tuesday, 26th July where she is invited to give evidence of a sustainable, profitable business performance; show an ability to create jobs; provide evidence of a clear risk/reward strategy and demonstrate effective leadership and management.

There are 11 award categories open to business and professional women across Scotland celebrating and recognising the achievement of women and their contribution to the commercial success of Scotland.  Introduced in 2013, the category for Business of the Year is open to businesses trading for 3 years or more.  Whilst the award is made to the business, a woman must be the driving force behind it.  Last year Toni picked up her 1st ASB award for her ‘Outstanding Contribution in Business’ at a glittering award ceremony in October 2015 at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow.  Nominated by The Ayrshire Association of Business Women (AABW) of which Toni is an active member, the Ayrshire group were also recognised as ‘Best Affiliated Group of the Year 2015’ and picked up more awards than any other region in Scotland.

ASB Awards

Toni collected the ‘Outstanding Contribution in Business’ ASB Award in 2015.

AABW logo

We’re hugely excited for this year with all the planned developments for a complete re-brand of the business and will be telling you lots more about this at a later date.  Watch this space and please keep your fingers crossed for us in the final.